McDonnell Eyes D.C. Gun Law
When Robert F. McDonnell ran for Attorney General in 2005, it was his Democratic opponent, Sen. R. Creigh Deeds, who ended up getting the National Rifle Association endorsement. The NRA was upset that McDonnell voted in the House for the state's one-gun-a-month law, which Deeds opposed.
It almost cost McDonnell the election. He's been trying ever since to make amends with the nation's most influential gun rights organization.
In April, McDonnell provoked a fight with New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg over the mayor's decision to send undercover agents into Virginia to look for illegal gun sales.
Now, McDonnell is wading into the District's efforts to protect their longstanding ban on the possession of concealed weapons and handguns.
McDonnell announced today that Virginia will join several other states by filing a brief supporting the right to bear arms in the D.C. gun case to be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court in March. The case has been touted as the most significant review of the Second Amendment in almost 70 years.
At issue is a decision by the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, which ruled that the gun policies of Washington D.C. violated the Second Amendment. The court found that the right to bear arms is an individual right guaranteed by the framers.
"The right to bear arms secured in the Bill of Rights is a right 'of the people'," McDonnell said. "We believe that our founders declared, in the Second Amendment, that American citizens have the personal right to bear arms as individuals."
Heller v. District of Columbia will most likely be heard by the Supreme Court in March 2008, with a decision anticipated in June.
It's not clear whether McDonnell's efforts will bolster his image with NRA officials. Deeds has already announced his candidacy for governor. McDonnell also says he is likely to run.
Wonder who will get the NRA endorsement if they are both their party's respective nominees?
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