2nd Amendment Challenge Before High Court

Tuesday, March 18th 2008, 4:51 pm
By: News On 6

Emotions were high in Washington, DC, on Tuesday as the U.S. Supreme Court heard a direct challenge to the 2nd Amendment.  The court is being asked to uphold DC's ban on handguns.  It's the first time since the amendment was ratified 216 years ago that the court is expected to define the right for citizens to own guns.  The News On 6's Dan Bewley reports gun rights supporters in Green Country are keeping a close eye on the case.

The basic issue is whether the 2nd Amendment protects an individual's right to own guns or if that right is only tied to service in a state militia.

"I feel everyone should have the ability to protect themselves and their home just as the Constitution says that we should," said Becky Medlock of Medlock Firearms.

Becky Medlock has owned a handgun for 12 years and has sold them for seven.

"The freedoms that this country is founded on is, basically, because of the 2nd Amendment," added Becky Medlock.

But, in Washington, DC, the U.S. Supreme Court is hearing a challenge to the District of Columbia's ban on handguns. A DC security guard says the 2nd Amendment gives individuals the right to own guns. The case has gun rights advocates worried of the repercussions if the court rules cities can ban handguns. Nearly 70 organizations, both for and against, have briefed the court.

One of the groups that filed a brief supporting the District's right to ban handguns was the U.S. Conference of Mayors, of which not only is Tulsa Mayor Kathy Taylor a member, but she also sits on its advisory board, helping to decide which way the organization leans.

But Mayor Taylor, who was in Oklahoma City on Tuesday, told The News On 6 she has not seen that particular brief and says she's a full-fledged supporter of the right of citizens to legally own guns and would never ask for a ban in Tulsa.

At Medlock Firearms, it comes down to individual rights, with supporters saying a ban of handguns would only cause chaos.

 "A law is only good if people abide by the law and whatever law they create is not going to make a difference in crime to the criminals," said Chris Duff of Medlock Firearms.

The Supreme Court will not make its decision until June. 

The last time the court heard a challenge to the 2nd Amendment was in 1939 involving a bank robber from Claremore.

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