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Oklahomans join gun ban opposition

By Chris Casteel Modified: February 13, 2008 at 12:30 am •  Published: February 13, 2008
WASHINGTON — Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmondson and the entire Oklahoma congressional delegation have joined arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court in the biggest gun ownership case in nearly 70 years.

All of the Oklahomans are urging the high court to overturn a ban on handgun ownership in the District of Columbia.

The case, which will be argued before Supreme Court justices next month, is the first since 1939 that the court has accepted primarily to decide a Second Amendment question.

Edmondson joined a brief filed on Monday by 31 states, and the seven Oklahoma lawmakers joined a brief filed last week by Vice President Dick Cheney and 55 members of the Senate and 250 members of the House.

The brief by the states says, "Every state in the union permits private citizens to own handguns. Forty-five states go further, allowing private citizens to carry concealed handguns for self-defense.

"Thus, the District's sweeping firearm prohibitions are not only contrary to the Constitution, but also contrary to the reasoned judgment of every state legislature in the nation.”

The District of Columbia asked the high court to take the case after the federal appeals court here ruled that the handgun ban in place for 30 years violated individuals' Second Amendment rights.

‘The right of the people'
Besides an outright ban on handguns, the district also requires that any other firearms in a person's possession be unloaded and disassembled or bound by a trigger lock.

The district argued to the court recently that, "The text and history of the Second Amendment conclusively refute the notion that it entitles individuals to have guns for their own private purposes.

"Instead, it protects the possession and use of guns only in service of an organized militia.”

Representing the Bush administration, the U.S.

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Second Amendment
The Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states, "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

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