BELLEVUE, WA — With the announced resignation of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales today, the Second Amendment Foundation is urging President Bush to make a very careful search for his replacement.

“We’re hoping that the next attorney general will be like the president’s first attorney general, John Ashcroft, someone who understands the Second Amendment affirms and protects an individual civil right,” said SAF founder Alan Gottlieb. “The next attorney general must also understand that people do not leave their Second Amendment right, or their right of self-defense, at the boundary of a college campus, the doorway of any public building, the gateway of a national park, the border of any state or any city limit.”

Gonzales took heat earlier this year when he dismissed the notion of armed self-defense against campus killers by allowing licensed students and instructors to carry guns on campus. He also angered gun rights activists by supporting S. 1237, the so-called “Denying Firearms and Explosives to Dangerous Terrorists Act of 2007,” that would give the Attorney General discretionary authority to deny the purchase of a firearm or the issuance of a firearm license or permit because of some vague suspicion that an American citizen may be up to no good.

“We called upon General Gonzales to resign after publicly supporting S. 1237,” Gottlieb recalled. “No attorney general should have the kind of power he was seeking with this legislation.

“General Gonzales opposed legal concealed carry on college campuses, despite evidence that so-called ‘gun-free zones’ are risk-free environments for madmen like Sueng-Hui Cho, the perpetrator of the Virginia Tech massacre,” he added. “Yet Gonzales admitted days after the attack that neither the government, police nor campus authorities can guarantee complete security.

“We hope the next attorney general is not afraid to admit that civil rights apply to individual citizens, not state governments,” Gottlieb concluded, “and that constitutional rights and freedoms, and the right of self-defense, apply to every square foot of American soil. Such rights should not be subject to the whims of university or government bureaucrats, and a citizen’s right to keep and bear arms should never be subject to suspension merely on suspicion of what someone ‘might’ do.”