ADL To Supreme Court: States Should Regulate Firearms
Update: In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court curtailed the right of states to regulate firearms. More
New York, NY, January 11, 2008 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today called on the United States Supreme Court to continue to allow states to protect their citizens' lives, liberty and property by regulating the purchase and possession of firearms. The League urged the Court to ensure that states retain the ability to keep guns out of the hands of "violent bigots."
Glen S. Lewy, ADL National Chair, and Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, issued the following statement:
This case is about allowing states to protect their citizens' lives, liberty and property by regulating the purchase and possession of firearms.
Gun violence and the caching of dangerous weapons are commonplace among extremists. If states lose the right to regulate firearm ownership, it would help violent bigots in their efforts to create an America based on hate and intolerance. We urge the Supreme Court to ensure that states have the tools to counter these agents of hate.
We are also deeply concerned about the possession and use of firearms by children. The Court must permit states to keep guns out of the hands of those who would bring violence to our schools.
The regulation of firearms is a rational response to these twin evils and is consistent with the Second Amendment's call for a well-regulated militia.
This case, District of Columbia v Heller, will determine – for the first time in over 60 years – whether the Second Amendment guarantees an individual the right to firearms for private use.
ADL joined a coalition in filing a "friend-of-the-court" brief (.pdf) to the Court, contending that the Second Amendment should not be interpreted as limiting a state's authority to regulate firearms when it seeks to protect the life, liberty and property of its citizens. Rather, the brief argues, the language of the Amendment can only be reasonably read to prohibit the federal government from interfering with such state regulation.
Jeffrey A. Lamken of Baker Botts L.L.P was the principal author of the coalition brief.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.