Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senators Mike Enzi, John Barrasso and Representative Cynthia Lummis, all R-Wyo., praised a 5-4 Supreme Court ruling today stating the right to bear arms, as written in the Second Amendment, applies to every resident of the United States as well as to state and local governments.
“Finally, after years of fighting in the courts, the Constitution has prevailed. This ruling helps insure that whether you live in Cheyenne or Chicago or any other place in the U.S., you’re allowed to protect yourself,” said Enzi.
“Today’s decision is a victory for people in Wyoming and all Americans who value our right to keep and bear arms. No level of government should have the right to take away our individual Second Amendment rights. In light of this week’s Supreme Court confirmation hearing of Elena Kagan, we need to make sure we are confirming Justices who will uphold today’s decision. President Obama’s last nominee for the Court, Sonia Sotomayor, claimed she supported Second Amendment rights during her confirmation process. She voted against them in today’s decision. Americans deserve justices who keep their word,” said Barrasso.
“Today’s ruling affirms what we in Wyoming already know: the U.S. Constitution guarantees law-abiding American citizens the right to keep and bear arms, regardless of where they make their home. The reinforcement of this basic right is an important win for all Americans. I applaud this Second Amendment victory and will keep fighting to protect our fundamental rights,” Lummis said.
The ruling came in the case of McDonald v. City of Chicago. The case determined if the Second Amendment applies to state and local governments through the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution which protects a person’s civil and political rights from being denied by any state. Despite clear congressional support for the individual’s right to keep and bear arms and a Supreme Court decisions affirming this position, some jurisdictions, like the City of Chicago, have attempted to circumvent Second Amendment rights by passing outright bans on hand guns and excessively strict gun laws that make it nearly impossible to own or carry a firearm.
In November, the delegation signed onto an amicus curiae brief signed by 58 senators and 251 representatives expressing their support for Second Amendment rights and urged the court to rule against the City of Chicago. An amicus curiae brief allows members of Congress to inform the Court of their views. The briefs can be filed by individuals or groups who are not directly involved with a specific court case but have a position they hope will influence its outcome.