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State Fights to Ensure Right to Bear Arms

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

No. 09-089


December 2, 2009, Wrangell, Alaska – At the direction of Governor Sean Parnell, the State of Alaska has joined the legal battle to prohibit state and local governments from denying individual Americans their right to bear arms, which is provided under the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution.

Attorney General Dan Sullivan, along with his counterparts in three dozen other states, recently signed on to a friend-of-the-court brief in the case of McDonald v. City of Chicago, now pending before the U.S. Supreme Court. Alaska had previously joined other states in successfully petitioning the court to hear the case, in which Chicago firearm owners challenge a handgun ban in the city.

Last year, in District of Columbia v. Heller, the high court overturned a similar handgun ban in the nation’s capital, which is a federal enclave. That ruling did not resolve whether such a ban would be permissible when imposed by city governments or state legislatures.

“The right to bear arms is so fundamental because implicitly it is the means through which all of our other rights are secured,” Governor Parnell said. “Whether in rural Alaska or inner-city Chicago, this is a right Americans must have, regardless of where they live or where they travel.”

“We expect the gun owners to prevail in the case,” said Attorney General Sullivan. “The Supreme Court consistently has found that the individual rights in the Bill of Rights must be recognized by state and local governments, thanks to the ‘due process’ clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. As Alaskans, whose way of life is dependent to such a large degree on the right to bear arms, it’s important that we stand up for this principle.”


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