NRA Statement on the Passing of Civil Rights Hero Otis McDonald

National Rifle Association
National Rifle Association

FAIRFAX, Va. –-( Otis McDonald, gun rights activist and civil rights hero, passed away Friday at the age of 80 in his hometown of Chicago.

As many of you will remember, McDonald was the lead plaintiff in McDonald v. Chicago – an historic Second Amendment case that liberated Chicago residents from the city’s oppressive gun ban in 2010.

The National Rifle Association extends our heartfelt condolences to the family of this courageous man.

McDonald began his journey not knowing that he would come to be known as a modern civil rights hero, but as a humble, concerned citizen who wanted to purchase a handgun to protect his family on the dangerous South Side of Chicago. When the City of Chicago rejected McDonald’s constitutional Right to Keep and Bear Arms, McDonald took his fight all the way the United States Supreme Court. His case, McDonald v. Chicago, was victorious – ensuring that no state or local government could deny their residents the God-given rights guaranteed to them by the United States Constitution.

Otis McDonald paved a path for other brave Americans to follow suit, including Illinois resident Mary Shepard.  Her case, Shepard v. Madigan, ended Illinois’ total ban on carrying firearms for self-defense outside the home.  As a result, all 50 states (accept NJ) are now permit the carrying of firearms outside the home in some form.

There is still much work to be done to ensure that Americans in every zip code have full access to their Second Amendment rights. Heroes like Otis McDonald have shown us the way forward. He fought an over-reaching government for his basic civil rights – and prevailed. Thanks to his desire to protect his family, many more families are safer. And thanks to his unwavering commitment to achieve equal protection under the law, Americans across the country can enjoy more of their fundamental freedoms.

Established in 1871, the National Rifle Association is America’s oldest civil rights and sportsmen’s group. More than five million members strong, NRA continues to uphold the Second Amendment and advocates enforcement of existing laws against violent offenders to reduce crime. The Association remains the nation’s leader in firearm education and training for law-abiding gun owners, law enforcement and the armed services. Be sure to follow the NRA on Facebook at and on Twitter @NRA.

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After the McDonald case laid the groundwork for Shepard vs. Madigan, the US Federal Court in Chicago gave the IL legislature 6 months to pass a concealed carry bill in December 2012. NRA contract lobbyist Todd Vandermyde loaded up Rep. Brandon Phelps concealed carry bill with an UNLIMITED privacy waiver, criminal penalties of 6 months or 1 year in jail for gun free zones, and Duty to Inform with criminal penalties, so police criminals can kill armed citizens with legal cover. Where were Chris Cox & Chuck Cunningham at NRA/ILA HQ while their lobbyist Vandermyde was selling out Otis McDonald?… Read more »

Bob Shell

Now there was a good man. Otis was a real American


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