From the Office of State Senator Dan Patrick

November 23, 2009
Contact: Logan Spence (512) 463-0107 or (512) 461-3448

Supports NRA's fight against state and local gun bans.

AUSTIN — Texas State Senator Dan Patrick (R-Houston) filed the necessary paperwork to sign onto an amicus curiae ("friend of the court") brief to be filed in a landmark Second Amendment case before the Supreme Court of the United States. McDonald v. City of Chicago will answer the question of whether the Second Amendment applies to states and localities through the Due Process Clause or the Privileges or Immunities Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.

The Supreme Court, in striking down Washington, D.C.'s long-standing ban on the possession of handguns in Heller v. District last year, found that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual's right to keep and bear arms. However, because of Washington D.C.'s special status as a federal jurisdiction, the decision didn't apply to similar gun bans at the state and local level, such as in the City of Chicago. McDonald v. City of Chicago will clarify that the Second Amendment protects the individual right to bear arms from local and state prohibitions. An appellate court decision to uphold a Chicago ban has resulted in the Supreme Court's decision to review the McDonald case.

"I am proud to add my name to this brief, because I strongly believe that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual and fundamental right to all law-abiding Americans, regardless of the state or city in which they live," said Senator Patrick, after adding his name to a brief to be signed by state lawmakers from across the country and filed with the U.S. Supreme Court next week.

The National Rifle Association's Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) applauded Senator Patrick's actions. "We welcome and appreciate Senator Patrick's participation in this important effort," said Tara Mica, NRA-ILA's State Liaison based in Austin, Texas. She added, "Senator Patrick has played a key role in fighting to protect the rights of law-abiding gun owners and sportsmen in the Texas Legislature, both as a member of the Senate Criminal Justice Committee and as a proud co-author of NRA-supported legislation. By signing onto this brief, he is taking that fight to the next level."