Peterson Asks Supreme Court to Uphold Second Amendment Rights

November 25, 2009
Press Release

(WASHINGTON , DC) - Congressman Collin Peterson has signed on to an amicus curiae, or “friend of the court,” brief asking the Supreme Court to uphold Second Amendment rights on the state and local government level.  The Court announced in late September that it would visit the question of whether state and local governments could deny rights guaranteed by the Second Amendment on the federal level.  The court case, McDonald vs. Chicago, specifically questions a Chicago , Illinois gun control law.  

“I’m pleased the Supreme Court is going to address this issue,” Peterson said after learning of the Court’s decision to hear the case.  “The Court should take this opportunity to make clear what we all already know, that the Second Amendment applies to state and local governments too.  No state legislature can take away the freedom to protect yourself.”

In a court case last year, District of Columbia vs. Heller, the Supreme Court decided that the Second Amendment protects an individual’s, and not just a group’s, right to “keep and bear Arms.”  However, that case only examined federal gun control laws in the District of Columbia .  McDonald vs. Chicago addresses a remaining question, whether or not the Second Amendment applies to the states.

“I’ve always been a defender of the Second Amendment,” Congressman Peterson said.  “It seems clear to me that no government—federal, state or local—can infringe on the right to ‘keep and bear arms.’”

In McDonald vs. Chicago, Alan Gura, the same attorney who challenged the District of Columbia gun ban, brought suit against gun regulations in Chicago .  The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals rejected his claims and said that the Second Amendment did not apply to the states.  The Supreme Court will revisit that decision.