ADL Disappointed In Supreme Court Decision On Gun Rights
New York, NY, June 26, 2008 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today expressed disappointment that the United States Supreme Court has curtailed the right of states to regulate firearms. In a 5-4 decision in District of Columbia v Heller, the Court's majority opinion held that the Constitution does not allow "the absolute prohibition of handguns held and used for self-defense in the home."
Glen S. Lewy, ADL National Chair, and Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, issued the following statement:
The culture of guns and violence is pervasive among extremists. This decision places our communities -- and the law enforcement officers that protect them -- at greater risk of violence.
Although the decision protects an individual's right to bear a firearm, the Court is clear that government may prohibit the possession of guns in schools, to place "conditions and qualifications" on their commercial sale, and to restrict ownership of "dangerous and unusual weapons," such as automatic weapons. State legislatures should recognize the importance of maintaining bans on the use or caching of weapons by domestic extremists. The Court also acknowledged that states can ban firearms in schools and government buildings. We urge states to ensure that these common sense restrictions continue.
We are disappointed that the Supreme Court has ignored the real-world impact of handgun violence – both within the District of Columbia and throughout the nation. We are confident that the decision leaves the states enough room for the proper regulation of dangerous firearms to keep guns out of the hands of children and especially to thwart the violent intentions of international and domestic extremist organizations.
ADL joined a coalition in filing a "friend-of-the-court" brief 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.
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.