American Rifleman - May 2010 - (Page 82)

OFFICIAL JOURNAL INSIDE NRA Political report Freedom’s Day In Court: Supreme Court Considers Chicago Gun Ban by Chris W. Cox, NRA-ILA Executive Director original scholarship relied on by the parties in both McDonald and Heller. If the pundits are correct and our side does win McDonald, there will be a few critical points for gun owners to remember. First, applying the Second Amendment to the states wouldn’t automatically decide exactly what restrictions are unconstitutional. Since the Heller decision, only a few challenges to gun laws have met with success. Gun owners will need to choose their battles wisely; a premature or poorly argued case could set back our cause for years to come. Second, it’s important to remember the Second Amendment isn’t always a silver bullet, or even our only bullet. For example, handgun bans in San Francisco were struck down twice under California’s state rearms preemption law. T he courts hold a very special place in American life. Our Founders wisely set them up as one of the ultimate checks on government power. Many of our greatest books and movies celebrate the role of the courts in protecting the rights of individuals. Even if you’re just in court to ght a tra c ticket, you can’t help but be impressed by the polished wood, the robed judge and the formal customs—trappings that make clear to all that justice is serious business indeed. When it comes to the Supreme Court of the United States, all that is true a hundred times over. Our nation’s highest court heard oral arguments on March 2 in McDonald v. City of Chicago—the case in which the court will decide whether the Second Amendment applies to the states. And while I know better than to make predictions, it was nice to wake up the morning after the argument and see headlines like “Justices Seem to Lean Toward Extending Individual Right to Own Guns”—in the New York Times, no less. As we’ve reported before (see “U.S. Supreme Court Revisits the Second Amendment,” December 2009), McDonald is one of two challenges to the Chicago handgun ban, both led immediately after the 2008 victory in District of Columbia v. Heller. After the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled— wrongly—that 19th century cases denied any right to Second Amendment protection against state and local laws, both NRA OFFICERS Ronald L. Schmeits, PRESIDENT David A. Keene, FIRST VICE PRESIDENT James W. Porter II, SECOND VICE PRESIDENT Wayne LaPierre, EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT Edward J. Land Jr., SECRETARY Wilson H. Phillips Jr., TREASURER Kayne Robinson, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, GENERAL OPERATIONS McDonald and the companion case, NRA v. City of Chicago, were appealed. The Supreme Court agreed to hear the McDonald case, but because the decision will a ect the NRA case equally, we’re in a lucky position. As “Respondent in Support of Petitioner,” we are a party to the case, which allowed us to do more than just le a “friend of the court” brief. In fact, we were able to ask for a share of the oral argument time—and we got it. Making the case for the NRA was former U.S. Solicitor General Paul Clement—perhaps the nest Supreme Court advocate in the country today, with dozens of cases to his credit. Prior to representing the NRA in McDonald, he authored an amicus brief on behalf of 251 members of the U.S. House of Representatives and 58 U.S. Senators, expressing strong opposition to state Gun owners will need to choose their battles wisely; a premature or poorly argued case could set back our cause for years to come. infringement of gun owners’ rights. Solicitor General Clement did an outstanding job for NRA members. In particular, he responded e ectively against the notion that the court could somehow apply only the “core” of the Second Amendment to the states, so that states and cities could still pass anti-gun laws that the federal government could not pass. As he pointed out, the Second Amendment is too important to allow the creation of a “watered down version” for the states. NRA members can also be proud of the NRA’s other attorneys in the case. Stephen Poss and his colleagues at the rm of Goodwin Procter LLP donated hundreds of hours of time to this struggle to advance civil rights. Longtime Second Amendment lawyer and historian Stephen Halbrook has devoted many years not only to Second Amendment litigation, but also to the More recently, the NRA joined with the Second Amendment Foundation and a group of Seattle residents in a successful challenge to that city’s ban on carrying guns in city parks and recreation centers. Although the state preemption law was so clearly on our side that no one raised a Second Amendment issue, a county judge found not only that the ban violated the preemption law, but also that the plainti s had “a clear legal or equitable right to carry rearms under federal and state constitutions,” which the ban violated. NRA members should be proud of the legal team that won that victory, of the McDonald team and of the lawyers who will win even more victories in cases to come. While the path may not always be easy, all of us at the NRA are proud to have the support of our members who make our victories possible. Christopher W. Cox, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, INSTITUTE FOR LEGISLATIVE ACTION N R A- I L A : ( 8 0 0 ) 3 9 2- 8683 • NR A- I L A web s i te: w w w. nr ai la. org 82 M AY 2010 WWW.AMERICANRIFLEMAN.ORG http://WWW.AMERICANRIFLEMAN.ORG

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Rifleman - May 2010

American Rifleman - May 2010
Editor’s Letter
Armed Citizen
Standing Guard
President’s Column
One On One With Ted Nugent
Readers Write
News, Notes and Ephemera
Questions & Answers
American Marksman: A First-Timer’s Guide To 3-Gunning
Bushmaster ACR: A Transformative Firearm
Coming To America: Para USA Goes Beyond Innovation
The 2010 Golden Bullseye Awards
Magnum Maximization: Ruger’s Extra-Capacity .327 Revolvers
NRA LED: A Half Century Of Service
Annual Meetings
Dope Bag: Data & Comment
Political Report
ILA Report
Regional Report/Member Info & Benefits
I Have This Old Gun

American Rifleman - May 2010