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Issue Position: Second Amendment

Issue Position

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Kelly is a strong and passionate supporter of our citizens' individual right to keep and bear arms.

Kelly supports nationwide recognition of concealed carry licenses in accordance with the Full Faith and Credit Clause of the United States Constitution. She believes the ability to carry a firearm is an individual protected civil right under the Second Amendment and that the right to self defense is a basic human right.

Kelly Ayotte has a strong record of protecting New Hampshire citizens' rights to keep and bear arms. As Attorney General, in District of Columbia v. Heller, Kelly Ayotte joined a brief filed in the United States Supreme Court defending Americans constitutional right to bear arms. In that case, Kelly Ayotte urged the United States Supreme Court to uphold a court decision striking down a handgun ban in Washington, DC. Kelly advocated for the position that "by banning all handguns, while rendering rifles and shotguns inoperable, the District of Columbia unconstitutionally prohibits citizens from owning operational firearms." The Supreme Court held that the District of Columbia's ban on handguns violated the Second Amendment.

In July of 2009, Kelly again joined a brief filed in the United States Supreme Court defending Americans rights to keep and bear arms. In National Rifle Association v. Chicago, Kelly supported a challenge by a Chicago citizen who lived in a high crime neighborhood and who had been the subject of threats from violent drug dealers, but who was prohibited by city ordinance from obtaining a handgun to protect himself. Kelly argued that the city ordinance violated his individual right to keep and bear arms under the Second Amendment. In the brief, Kelly advocated that:

"The right to keep and bear arms under the Second Amendment is not just a fundamental liberty interest … [I]t is among the most fundamental rights because it is essential to securing all our other liberties. The founders well understood that, without the protections afforded by the Second Amendment, all other rights and privileges ordinarily enjoyed by Americans would be vulnerable to acts of oppression."

Kelly has been praised by the National Rifle Association (NRA) for joining with them to fight against the reinstatement of the Clinton Administration's ban on semi-automatic firearms. Kelly was the only Attorney General in the Northeast to join a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder urging him not to reinstate the ban.

Finally, when New Hampshire citizens have exercised their lawful right to defend themselves under the Second Amendment and Part I, Article 2-a of the New Hampshire Constitution, Kelly Ayotte has stood up for their right to defend themselves.

As New Hampshire's Senator, Kelly will continue to fight to protect Second Amendment freedoms.


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