KXLH: Supreme Court upholds broad reach of gun rights

Calling it ‘a victory for all Americans’, U.S. Senators Jon Tester (D-MT) and Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) praised Monday’s landmark U.S. Supreme Court McDonald v. Chicago decision.

The ruling finds it unconstitutional for state and local governments to restrict individual gun rights of law-abiding Americans.

Tester and Hutchison had led a bipartisan effort in Congress urging the U.S. Supreme Court to side in favor of individual gun rights and to strike down local restrictions.

Tester and Hutchison said the decision gives all law-abiding American gun owners reason to celebrate.

“Today, we ensured that law-abiding folks have the same Second Amendment rights no matter where in America they live,” said Tester, co-chairman of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus. “This decision is a major victory for America’s gun owners and I’ll keep fighting hard to protect our gun rights.”

“Today’s Supreme Court ruling is a major victory for the rights of all Americans to protect themselves and their families,” added Hutchison. “The Supreme Court once again sent a clear message to local, state, and federal governments: the individual right to keep and bear arms applies to all law abiding Americans, regardless where they live.”

Tester and Hutchison wrote and delivered a 59-page friend-of-the-court brief to the Court last October for McDonald v. Chicago.

Tester and Hutchison also led a successful effort in Congress to support gun rights in the landmark Supreme Court case Heller v. District of Columbia. That case overturned Washington, D.C.’s longstanding ban on firearms 5-to-4.

Monday’s statement came after the Supreme Court has ruled unconstitutional Chicago’s 28-year-old strict ban on handgun ownership, a potentially far-reaching case over the ability of state and local governments to enforce limits on weapons.

A 5-4 conservative majority of justices on Monday reiterated its two-year-old conclusion the Constitution gives individuals equal or greater power than states on the issue of possession of certain firearms for self-protection.

“It cannot be doubted that the right to bear arms was regarded as a substantive guarantee, not a prohibition that could be ignored so long as states legislated in an evenhanded manner,” wrote Justice Samuel Alito.

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