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Public Statements

Craig Says 2nd Amendment Means Americans Have Right to Gun Ownership

Statement

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC


Craig Says 2nd Amendment Means Americans Have Right to Gun Ownership

Idaho Senator Larry Craig today issued the following statement after the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments over whether the Second Amendment protects an individual's right to own guns or whether that right is tied to state militias:

"This is an important day for all Americans who cherish their rights as citizens under the Constitution," Craig said. "It is an especially important day for those of us who, over many years and against bitter opposition, have defended and advanced those rights.

"As the justices of the Supreme Court are weighing opposing arguments in the case of District of Columbia v. Heller, concerning the confiscatory gun laws enacted by the city council of the District of Columbia, all of us should be aware of the tremendous import of this case.

"If the Second Amendment to our Constitution means anything, it means that individual Americans have a right to gun ownership - not just the militia, not only the National Guard and not just certain favored classes who can afford bodyguards and security personnel. It means that law-abiding Americans have a right - I would say, a God-given right - to defend themselves, their homes, and their families. That is true on the farms of Idaho and in the barrios of Los Angeles, in the multiple-million-dollar condos of Manhattan and in the inner city neighborhoods of Detroit.

"The arguments to the contrary presented to the Court today reflect the intellectually dishonest reading of this issue that has dominated this country's law schools for years. For gun control supporters, the meaning of the Second Amendment is to be found, not in the words of the Constitution, but in their own agenda.

Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes famously remarked that lawyers spend a great deal of their time shoveling smoke. We must all hope - and indeed, bipartisan majorities of the House and Senate, in our amicus brief, already have insisted - that the members of the Court will not allow that smoke to get in their eyes."


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