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Ron Paul Defends The Second Amendment
Presidential candidate signs on to letter and brief against DC Gun Ban

Steve Watson
day, Feb 8, 2008

Presidential candidate Ron Paul has put his name to a letter calling for the withdrawal of a brief filed in the DC gun ban case, citing constitutional concerns.

According to a House of Representatives press release, the Texas Congressman has signed on to a letter to the current administration asking that an amicus curiae brief filed by U.S Solicitor General Paul D. Clement on DC v. Heller be withdrawn as it sets a precedent for further erosion of individuals’ Second Amendment rights to keep and bear arms.

The brief, filed on behalf of the Bush administration and the government, says that federal gun control measures should not be limited and proposes that a court may determine that a full scale ban on almost all self-defense firearms may be upheld as constitutional if it constitutes a “reasonable” restriction of constitutional rights.

It also suggests essentially demoting the Second Amendment to a lower tier of enumerated rights as it calls for the District law be sent back to lower courts for evaluation "under a more flexible standard of review."

The letter in opposition to the brief, signed by Ron Paul, states:

“If the Supreme Court finds that the D.C. gun ban is a “reasonable” limitation of Second Amendment rights, the Court could create a dangerous precedent for the nation in the future. Such a decision could open the door to further regulation on American citizens’ Second Amendment rights on a large scale.”

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In a separate brief, a majority of the Senate and more than half of the members of the House will today urge the Supreme Court to uphold it's previous ruling that the District's handgun ban violates the Second Amendment, reports the Washington Post.

Ron Paul, as a strict constitutionalist and in keeping with his strong record on gun rights, has also signed this brief, which asks the Supreme Court to uphold the lower courts decision and allow the precedent of applying a stricter standard of review for gun control cases to stand.

Advocates of the ban and the representatives of the District of Columbia have attempted to argue that the history and context of the second amendment applies to the rights of militias and not to individuals.

Last year, a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled 2 to 1, that the right is an individual one, becoming the first appeals court to do so. It stated that because handguns should be considered "arms," it is unconstitutional to ban them.

The case stems from proceedings filed by lawyers for security guard Mr Dick Anthony Heller, which state that the District's categorical restrictions are so broad that they cannot comply with the Second Amendment's protection of the right to bear arms.

The case is scheduled for argument March 18.

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