Attorney Discusses Second Amendment Ruling in Landmark Case
January 21, 2009 — Alan Gura, an attorney who waged a successful Supreme Court battle to strike down the Washington D.C. handgun ban, spoke with Earle Mack School of Law students on Jan. 21.
The lead counsel in the closely watched case of the District of Columbia v. Heller, Gura’s appearance was sponsored by Earle Mack School of Law’s Yeomen Society, a student organization that seeks to exercise and protect the constitutional right of individuals to keep and bear arms.
Gura said the Supreme Court struck down D.C.’s gun ban in July because it violated the constitutionally protected right of citizens to possess weapons that are commonly used for lawful purposes.
“Guns weren’t in common use for lawful purposes by D.C. citizens, but nationally, they were,” Gura said. “You have the right to the arms you need to protect yourself.”
The ruling overturned a 30-year-old law, Gura noted, predicting that many other gun laws will survive Supreme Court challenges.
“Most gun laws are going to survive strict scrutiny,” he said.
Yet states that seek to regulate gun ownership must do so through constitutional means, he said.
“Laws that assert a public safety purpose but can be shown to harass and create a bureaucratic nuisance are going to be struck down,” Gura said.
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