RNC: Wrong on Second Amendment Rights

As Supreme Court Arguments Begin, Obama and Clinton Continue To Be Off Target With Their Anti-Gun Positions

WASHINGTON, March 18 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following is being issued by the Republican National Committee:

Today, The Supreme Court Will Hear Oral Arguments In District Of Columbia v. Heller - A Challenge To The Constitutionality Of Washington, D.C.'s Gun Ban:

Washington D.C.'s Gun Law Is "A Ban On Having Handguns At Home For Self-Defense." "For more than 30 years, the District of Columbia has had the nation's strictest gun-control law -- a ban on having handguns at home for self-defense. On Tuesday [March 18], the Supreme Court will hear a challenge to that law from those who say it violates the 2nd Amendment's right to keep and bear arms." (David G. Savage, "Supreme Court To Hear Challenge To D.C. Gun Law," Los Angeles Times , 3/17/08)

-- The Case, District Of Columbia v. Heller, Was Brought By A Security Guard Who Could Not Keep A Handgun In His Home For Self-Defense. "The matter of handguns in the city is before the Supreme Court now because of a security guard, Dick Anthony Heller , who thought it was the height of hypocrisy that he could carry a handgun to defend a federal building but could not keep one in his home to defend himself. The Second Amendment case, the District of Columbia v. Heller, No. 07-290, is the first to go before the Supreme Court since 1939." ( Tom Knott , Op-Ed, "D.C. Handgun-Ban Backers Oblivious To Reality," The Washington Times, 2/21/08)

NOTE: In March 2007 , The U.S. Court Of Appeals For The D.C. Circuit Overturned D.C.'s Gun Ban And Held The Second Amendment Protects An Individual Right. "A federal appeals court yesterday [ March 9, 2007 ] struck down the District's 30-year-old gun ban, ruling that the right to bear arms as guaranteed in the Second Amendment applies to individuals and not only to militias. ... The 2-1 decision by a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit overturned a 2004 lower-court decision against six D.C. residents who filed suit to keep guns for self-protection." (Tarron Lively and Daniel Taylor , "Court Strikes Down D.C. Ban On Guns," The Washington Times, 3/10/07)

A Bipartisan Coalition Of Over 300 Members Of Congress Has Urged The Supreme Court To Overturn D.C. Gun Ban:

"The Number Of Federal Law Makers ... Is Thought To Be The Largest Ever To Weigh In On A Topic With The High Court." "[In February, 2008] 55 senators and 250 members of the House signed onto a brief calling for the Supreme Court to overturn the D.C. gun ban by affirming the circuit court decision. The number of federal lawmakers, including 228 Republicans and 77 Democrats, is thought to be the largest ever to weigh in on a topic with the high court, at least in recent years." ( Gary Emerling , "Nation Awaits D.C. Handgun Ruling," The Washington Times, 3/17/08)

Sens. Obama And Clinton Did Not Sign Onto The Brief. "Among the presidential candidates, Republican Sen. John McCain signed on [to the brief], while Democratic Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton did not." ( Robert Barnes , "D.C.'s Gun Ban Gets Day In Court," The Washington Post, 3/16/08)

Sens. Obama And Clinton "Quietly" Support The Ban, But Their Positions Are Unclear:

Obama And Sen. Clinton "Quietly" Support The D.C. Gun Ban. "[T]he Democrats Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have quietly supported the city's position." ( Elana Schor , "Supreme Court Tests Right To Own Guns," The [ London ] Guardian, 3/17/08)

-- Sen. Clinton 's Campaign Seems To Be Avoiding Going On Record. "The campaign of Mr. Obama 's Democratic rival, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York, did not respond to repeated requests for comment on the Heller case." ( Gary Emerling , "Nation Awaits D.C. Handgun Ruling," The Washington Times, 3/17/08)

Currently, Obama's Campaign Refuses To State His Position. "Jen Psaki, a spokeswoman for Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois, said Mr. Obama 'believes the Second Amendment creates an individual right, and he greatly respects the constitutional rights of Americans to bear arms.' 'He also believes that the Constitution permits state and local governments to adopt reasonable and common-sense gun safety measures,' she said, but would not elaborate on the whether the senator supports the D.C. gun ban." ( Gary Emerling , "Nation Awaits D.C. Handgun Ruling," The Washington Times, 3/17/08)

-- Asked About D.C.'s Gun Ban On The Campaign Trail, Obama Did Not Take A Stance. "[A]sked today about the DC handgun ban currently being reviewed by the US Supreme Court, Obama declined to take a position for or against its constitutionality ..." ( David Wright , Ursula Fahy and Sunlen Miller, "Obama: 'Common Sense Regulation' On Gun Owners' Rights," ABC News' "Political Radar" Blog, http://blogs.abcnews.com, 2/15/08)

NOTE: In The Past, Obama Has Expressed Support For The Ban. "Obama believes the D.C. handgun law is constitutional." ( James Oliphant and Michael J. Higgins, "Court To Hear Gun Case," Chicago Tribune, 11/20/07)

In The Past, Obama Has Advocated National Gun-Control Legislation, But Now Claims To Support Local Gun Laws:

Obama Has Called For National Gun-Control Legislation. "On the issue of prohibiting citizens from carrying concealed weapons, Obama said he believes national legislation should be passed to 'prevent other states' laws [allowing citizens to conceal their guns] from threatening the safety of Illinois residents." ( John Chase , "Keyes, Obama Are Far Apart On Guns," Chicago Tribune, 9/15/04)

-- Obama: "National legislation will prevent other states' flawed concealed-weapons laws from threatening the safety of Illinois residents." ( David Mendell , "Democratic Hopefuls Vary A Bit On Death Penalty," Chicago Tribune, 2/20/04)

Now, Obama Claims To Support Rights Of Local Jurisdictions To Make Gun Laws. "[A]sked today about the DC handgun ban currently being reviewed by the US Supreme Court, Obama ... did express broad support for the rights of local jurisdictions to make such decisions for themselves." ( David Wright , Ursula Fahy and Sunlen Miller, "Obama: 'Common Sense Regulation' On Gun Owners' Rights," ABC News' "Political Radar" Blog, http://blogs.abcnews.com, 2/15/08)

Obama: "The city of Chicago has gun laws, so does Washington, DC ... The notion that somehow local jurisdictions can't initiate gun safety laws to deal with gangbangers and random shootings on the street isn't born out by our Constitution." ( David Wright , Ursula Fahy and Sunlen Miller, "Obama: 'Common Sense Regulation' On Gun Owners' Rights," ABC News' "Political Radar" Blog, http://blogs.abcnews.com, 2/15/08)

Paid for by the Republican National Committee.

www.gop.com

Not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee

SOURCE Republican National Committee



Loading