Statement of Third Way’s Jim Kessler on Supreme Court Decision on the Second Amendment
Washington DC—Jim Kessler, Vice President for Policy at Third Way and one of the nation’s leading experts on gun laws, released the following statement on the Supreme Court’s decision on the Heller case:
“The Supreme Court’s decision in the Heller case is fair and appropriate. It affirms that the Second Amendment right to own firearms is an individual right of self-defense but one that is subject to reasonable restrictions. By overturning the DC gun ban, the Supreme Court said that while Second Amendment rights are not absolute, neither are gun restrictions. The DC gun ban simply went too far.
“This decision gives constitutional support to nearly all existing federal, state, and local gun safety laws. It closes the door on any potential challenges to the federal Brady law or such proposed federal laws as the assault weapons ban and gun show loophole bill.
“As for the political ramifications, there will be no cheering at NRA headquarters today. For forty years, the NRA has opposed nearly all proposed gun laws on constitutional grounds (“what part of ‘shall not be infringed’ don’t you understand?”). The Supreme Court just told them to get a new argument.
“This decision may anger the gun control groups on the left who believe gun rights and gun restrictions cannot co-exist. Ultimately, this decision may please no one except the overwhelming majority of Americans who believe in both Second Amendment rights and reasonable gun laws.
“For both Senators McCain and Obama, this decision removes the Second Amendment from center stage. Both senators have voiced support for Second Amendment rights that allow for reasonable restrictions. Senator McCain even earned the ire of the NRA for introducing legislation to close the gun show loophole. The Supreme Court bolsters each candidate’s views that the right to own firearms does not extend to terrorists, criminals and other dangerous people and allows for the type of balanced laws that each has supported to ensure the safety of Americans.
“Common sense won the day – as the Framers no doubt intended when they drafted the Bill of Rights.”
Contact: Matt Bennett (202) 775-3768 x212