Fighting to Bolster the Heller Decision

Dick Heller
Dick Heller

Washington, DC –-( Gun Owners of America and its foundation are in the middle of a seminal fight in the courts -– a fight which could determine whether the federal courts will be of any use in protecting our Second Amendment rights for the foreseeable future.

That fight will determine whether the Founders -– or the liberal nut cases who govern the People’s Republic of Maryland -– will dictate the scope of the Second Amendment.

First, a little background.
As you remember, the Supreme Court’s Heller and McDonald cases recognized that the Second Amendment was an individual right -– and that it was a right that applied to the states.

Unfortunately, on page 54 of the Heller decision, the majority opinion suggested that it might uphold some unconstitutional anti-gun laws, in spite of the Second Amendment’s absolute ban on such restrictions.

In effect, the court invited federal courts to apply a “balancing test” to the Second Amendment. And, since that time, the federal courts have upheld a large portion of the unconstitutional gun bans challenged by gun owners.

This is where the Maryland case comes in.

The ironically dubbed “Free State” is, in fact, one of the least free jurisdictions in the country.

On guns, you have to have a permit to carry one. That permit can be denied if you don’t show a “good and substantial purpose.” And whether you have a “good and substantial purpose” is a subjective decision that can be determined in virtually any way Maryland’s anti-gun fruitcakes choose to interpret it.

How does Maryland reconcile that with the Second Amendment?

The answer is that it doesn’t. Its 46-page brief quotes the Second Amendment at the outset and spends the remaining 45 pages talking about something else.

Says Maryland, the Second Amendment is essentially identical to the 1689 English Bill of Rights.

Wrong! The Second Amendment codifies a God-given right which comes from -– well, ah -– God.

If, as Maryland contends, our Second Amendment rights are no broader than English rights, this means the government can seize all of our guns and outlaw gun ownership across the board.

Says Maryland, “a majority of nineteenth-century courts had upheld the constitutionality of complete prohibitions on the carry of concealed weapons.”

If Maryland prevails on this proposition, the Heller case is worthless –- and your God-given right to defend yourself, your family, and your friends is essentially meaningless.

This is why the Gun Owners Foundation has filed a brief (pdf) on your behalf on appeal before the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond.

But lawyers are not cheap, and the legal process is not invoked without a substantial expenditure of resources.

This is why we need your help to support our important work in this case.

Know that we have selected this case because it represents an extreme example of anti-gun repression –- one that should be easy for the courts to strike down.

Know that what happens in this case before the Fourth Circuit and, if necessary, before the Supreme Court, could determine whether the Heller decision has any meaning -– or is just a useless pile of platitudes.

Gun Owners of America
8001 Forbes Place, Suite 102
Springfield, VA 22151
Phone: 703-321-8585
FAX: 703-321-8408

About Gun Owners of America

Gun Owners of America (GOA) is a non-profit lobbying organization formed in 1975 to preserve and defend the Second Amendment rights of gun owners. GOA sees firearms ownership as a freedom issue. `The only no comprise gun lobby in Washington’ – Ron Paul

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