Senator Glenn Hegar Celebrates Today's Landmark U.S. Supreme Court Ruling Strengthening Second Amendment Rights
AUSTIN—Today is a great day in American history! The United States Supreme Court affirmed today what a vast majority of Texans and the American public have long known.
Our founding fathers wrote that the Second Amendment was an individual right and now, a majority of the members of the Supreme Court have confirmed what our founding fathers wrote and intended. The Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms is an individual right extending to all fifty states and all political subdivisions and once and for all is a real part of American constitutional law.
This landmark decision vindicates all of the American citizens across our nation who have always believed that the Second Amendment was an individual right that should not be infringed upon by state or local governments but whose freedoms were ignored by overzealous elected officials who for many years thwarted our constitution.
While this decision is significant, Supreme Court decisions must result in actual changes in the enforcement of the law. In order for an individual freedom to mean anything, an individual citizen must be able to experience that freedom. The intent of the founding fathers -- and now the Supreme Court -- was and is to provide access. State and local governments who have placed undue, and now unconstitutional, restrictions, on the right of any law abiding man or woman, no matter where they live, to purchase and/or possess a firearm must take immediate action to rescind those laws. This decision must provide immediate relief to law-abiding citizens who have been and continue to be deprived of their Second Amendment rights. Today, the Supreme Court said that all law abiding adult Americans have the right to purchase and possess a firearm.
As the Chairman of the Legislative Sportsman's Caucus here in Texas, I will fight to ensure this constitutional victory for all Americans is not transformed into a practical defeat for Texans by liberal activist judges, defiant city councils, or misguided politicians who seek to pervert, reverse, or nullify the Supreme Court's McDonald decision through undue restrictions and regulations that render the Second Amendment inaccessible, unaffordable, or otherwise impossible for law abiding Texans to experience in a practical and reasonable way. That includes denying the right of Texans to protect themselves by prohibiting them from keeping a lawfully owned firearm in their personal vehicle parked at their place of employment while at work.
The Second Amendment is only an individual freedom when individual law abiding Americans can purchase a firearm, keep it in their home or vehicle and can have full access to that gun to protect themselves and their family or to use it for hunting or any other lawful purpose.
Finally, it is important to note that McDonald v. City of Chicago was a five to four decision. Had just one justice ruled differently, those who have long sought to dismantle the Second Amendment by placing undue laws, restrictions or other impediments on the lawful purchase and possession of a firearm would have assumed they now had the backing of the nation's highest court to subvert the will of our nation's founders. Just as words in our constitution matter, so do elections.
While today's decision is cause for celebration, we must not be content with this fragile victory. We must continue to work to elect lawmakers at all levels of government who will fight to uphold all of our constitutionally protected freedoms, most especially the right of all law abiding Americans to keep and bear arms.
Senator Hegar served two terms in the Texas House of Representatives and now represents Senate District 18 in the Texas Senate. Senate District 18 contains over one-third of the Texas coastline. He is a sixth generation Texan, and earns a living farming on land that has been in his family since the mid 1800's. He currently resides in Katy, Texas with his wife Dara, and their three children, Claire, Julia, and Jonah.