DOJ: News Release

Bullock Asks Nation’s Highest Court to Uphold 2nd Amendment Rights

Montana AG joins 32 other states urging U.S. Supreme Court to hear Chicago handgun case

HELENA – Montana Attorney General Steve Bullock and his counterparts in 32 other states have urged the U.S. Supreme Court to review a lower court decision that allows the City of Chicago to ban private ownership of handguns.

Bullock and the other state Attorneys General have joined in a friend of the court brief filed by the state of Texas on behalf of an inner-city community activist in Chicago, Illinois who is prohibited by the Chicago ordinance from possessing a handgun. The activist, Otis McDonald, has been threatened by violent drug dealers because of his efforts to clean up his neighborhood.

In urging the Supreme Court to hear the case brought on McDonald’s behalf by the National Rifle Association, the Attorneys General argue that local municipalities cannot disregard the Second Amendment and impose a total ban on handguns, just as they can’t void the right to free speech.

“The rights guaranteed in our Constitution apply to all Americans and no one city can pick and choose which ones they’ll recognize,” Bullock said today. “I hope that our nation’s highest court will hear this case and will side with the constitutionally protected right of law-abiding Americans to keep and bear arms.”

Last year, in the landmark case District of Columbia vs. Heller, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the right to bear arms is a critical liberty interest, essential to preserving individual security and the right to self-defense. But since that decision, lower courts have been divided over whether that guaranteed right applies to people living in the fifty states or just in “federal enclaves” like Washington, D.C., the attorneys general write.

The states ask the U.S. Supreme Court to hear both Mr. McDonald’s case and another case, National Rifle Association v. City of Chicago.

Bullock and Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott were joined by their colleagues in Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wyoming in filing the brief.

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