BELLEVUE, WA – The Second Amendment Foundation has filed an amicus curiae brief in District of Columbia v Heller, the appeal of the landmark case that overturned the district’s handgun ban on the grounds that it unconstitutionally violates the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.
Written by attorney Nelson Lund at the George Mason University School of Law, the brief has already earned praise of veteran Second Amendment authority David Kopel, who noted in remarks on a popular Second Amendment website, “If you want to read a model Supreme Court brief, this is the brief to read.”
In the brief, Lund notes that the Second Amendment right of the people to keep and bear arms would remain even if the militia were disbanded.
“Our 48-page brief is tightly written, and it refutes the contentions by anti-gunners that the Second Amendment only protects some right of the states to maintain militias,” said SAF founder Alan Gottlieb. “The brief, which can be read on our website at www.saf.org, gets right to the heart of this case. We also note that the opposition arguments are absurd, and explain why.”
SAF’s brief further reminds the court that “In liberal theory, the most fundamental of all rights is the right of self defense.” It also notes that ‘the people’ referred to in the Second Amendment “has always been a much larger body of individuals than the militia.”
“Congress cannot abolish this constitutional right of the people by abolishing the militia,” notes Lund in the brief. “Neither can the right be limited to contexts in which its exercise contributes to the functioning of an organized militia that Congress is not even required to maintain.”
“While anti-gun extremists are beating drums about the downfall of civilization if the high court upholds the individual right,” Gottlieb stated, “we believe that the time has come for the Second Amendment to take its place as the Constitution’s insurance policy against tyranny and as our guardian against unjust laws that leave us defenseless against a growing criminal element.”
The Second Amendment Foundation is the nation’s oldest and largest tax-exempt education, research, publishing and legal action group focusing on the Constitutional right and heritage to privately own and possess firearms. Founded in 1974, The Foundation has grown to more than 600,000 members and supporters and conducts many programs designed to better inform the public about the consequences of gun control