Gun-Rights Groups Ready for Battle Against ‘Restrictive’ Regulations

June 29, 2010 - 8:49 PM

A Sig Sauer 9mm pistol, a gun popular with drug cartels, is displayed at an ATF news conference in Houston.(AP photo)

(CNSNews.com) – Given the Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling on Monday that the Constitution’s Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms applies to individuals in the states, gun rights advocates are maneuvering to legally challenge and remove what they view as burdensome regulations on gun ownership and use. 
 
"We are already preparing to challenge other highly restrictive anti-gun laws across the country,” said Alan Gottlieb, vice president of the Second Amendment Foundation, in a statement. “Our objective is to win back our firearms freedoms one lawsuit at a time.”
 
The Second Amendment Foundation was one of the legal co-sponsors for the plaintiff in the case, McDonald v. Chicago, for which the Supreme Court ruled in favor on Monday.
 
Dave Workman, with the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, said he expects the "battlefield" over gun regulations to "expand to the states now," and that there will be numerous challenges to gun laws and regulations across the country.
 
According to the Brookings Institution, there are approximately 300 different state gun-control laws on the books.

Wayne LaPierre, president of the National Rifle Association, said of Monday’s ruling, “The Supreme Court has now said the Second Amendment is an individual freedom for all. And that must have meaning. This decision must provide relief to law-abiding citizens who are deprived of their Second Amendment rights.”

“The NRA will work to ensure this constitutional victory is not transformed into a practical defeat by activist judges, defiant city councils, or cynical politicians who seek to pervert, reverse, or nullify the Supreme Court’s McDonald decision through Byzantine labyrinths of restrictions and regulations that render the Second Amendment inaccessible, unaffordable, or otherwise impossible to experience in a practical, reasonable way,” said LaPierre.

However, Robyn Thomas, executive director of the Legal Community Against Violence, said Monday's ruling is not a broad, sweeping ruling that will cause most regulations to crumble.
 
“The right defined today in the court simply protects the right to a handgun in the home for self-defense, which is a very narrow definition of the Second Amendment right,” Thomas said during a conference call on Monday.
 
“Today’s decision clearly reiterated that the right to keep and bear arms is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever and for whatever purpose, and reaffirms the Heller decision’s approval of long-standing regulatory measures."
 
In the District of Columbia v. Heller  case, the Supreme Court ruled in 2008 that the Second Amendment meant that individuals could keep and bear arms in federal enclaves – in that case, specifically the District of Columbia.
 
Thomas said she expects "frivolous lawsuits" that challenge gun regulations to arise and added that the "vast majority of regulations should be upheld in the wake of McDonald."
 
Scott Knight, the chief of police in Chaska, Minn., and the chair of the Firearms Committee of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, was on the conference call. He said the current regulations are helpful in keeping guns out of the wrong hands.
 
“Our concern is that we need to make sure that people, who are prohibited by law, do not have access to guns," Knight said.