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National Law Enforcement Groups, Brady Center Urge Supreme Court to Rule for D.C. Gun Ban

January 25, 2008  | 

Nine law enforcement groups, including the International Association of Chiefs of Police, have allied with the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence in filing a "friend of the court" brief urging the Supreme Court to reverse a federal appeals court ruling that strikes down a District of Columbia gun law as a violation of the Second Amendment.

"We urge the Supreme Court to listen to the voice of those who put their lives on the line every day to protect communities from gun violence," says Brady Center President Paul Helmke. "The law enforcement community has argued clearly and forcefully for allowing the life-and-death issues raised by gun violence to be decided by the elected representatives of the people, without the interference of courts anxious to distort the Second Amendment's meaning."

The brief, filed in District of Columbia v. Heller, argues that the lower court ruling, if affirmed, would grant courts "unprecedented authority" to nullify the decisions of elected officials to adopt gun control measures.

The nine law enforcement groups that signed onto the brief include the IACP, the Major Cities Chiefs, the International Brotherhood of Police Officers, the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, the Hispanic American Police Command Officers Association, the National Latino Peace Officers Association, the National Black Police Association, the School Safety Advocacy Council, and the Police Executive Research Forum.

A statement from the Brady Center says that the brief argues that local gun control laws have been used to reduce the danger of gun violence "demonstrable public safety benefits." The brief cites specifically the "success" of Brady Law background checks "which have prevented more than 1.4 million felons and other legally prohibited buyers from purchasing guns, contributing to a sharp national drop in gun crimes." According to the brief, "this court should not grant courts the unprecedented power to second-guess legislative decisions on the control of deadly weaponry."

The brief also points out that the United States Supreme Court, in a 1939 precedent, ruled that the "right of the people to keep and bear arms" in the Second Amendment "must be interpreted and applied" in accord with its express purpose to ensure the effectiveness of state-regulated militias. It argues that the March ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, by finding that the right guaranteed is not limited to service in a state militia, defies the 1939 precedent and nullifies the militia language of the Amendment and the intent of the framers.

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Comments (6)

Displaying 1 - 6 of 6

walkin' trails @ 1/25/2008 6:17 AM

Why are these organizations so opposed to seeing the violent crime rate in DC drop significantly in the years following a repeal of that draconian gun and self defense ban?

coxgregg @ 1/25/2008 5:24 PM

Gun Control simply does not work. I have never heard of most of the supportive organizations.

whp403 @ 1/27/2008 8:03 AM

It is amazing to me how these people think they are smarter than the Founding Fathers. Gun control has NEVER worked to reduce crime it only reduces freedom.

lzehnder @ 1/27/2008 7:38 PM

We all know what a glorious success gun control has proven to be in D.C. I would like to know how the Brady folks arrived at the figure of 1.4 million felons being prevented from obtaining firearms.

allenmuma @ 1/28/2008 3:22 PM

This is the reason I am not a member of IACP, they are controlled by gun grabbing big city administrators and out of country police departments. This type of thinking will never change. I support our 2nd Amendment and hope the US Supreme Court backs the US Court of Appeals.

Collegecop_wa @ 2/2/2008 10:17 AM

No amount of words on paper is ever going to stop violent crime in this nation or any other. Gun control laws are paper tigers, useful only for making the policy makers feel like they accomplished something. The vast majority of bad guys I have run into in my career didn't buy their gun from a FFL dealer; they bought it out of the trunk of a car or in an alleyway somewhere. So how exactly will more laws regulating guns have any effect on gun crimes? We have a hard enough time enforcing the ones that are on the books now. We need more resources given to departments to combat crime, a revamped judicial system and better criminal justice system, not more knee jerk legislation that accomplishes little more than feel good measures.

And it is interesting to me how the whole Brady bill came to be in the first place. A campaign to outlaw "assault weapons" and "high capacity weapons and magazines" started by someone shot with a .22 caliber six shot revolver. Hardly an "assault weapon" with a "high capacity" magazine, yet he allowed his part in the Regan assassination attempt to be used as justification for legislation that has had minimal impact on reducing violent crime in this country in my opinion.

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