FAIRFAX, Va. – Today, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit marked
a milestone in Second Amendment history by ruling that the Second Amendment
limits state and local government infringements on our right to keep and bear
arms through the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S.
Constitution. NRA has been involved in, and supportive of, this case for the
past ten years and has filed several amicus briefs in the case.
“The historic Heller decision was a major victory for law-abiding gun owners
and recognized that the federal government could not infringe on our right to
keep and bear arms,” said Chris W. Cox, NRA chief lobbyist. “Today’s decision,
which applies to the states in the Ninth Circuit, ensures that the fundamental
freedoms affirmed in Heller are not just limited to the residents of Washington,
In 1999, the Alameda County Board of Supervisors passed an ordinance that
made it a misdemeanor to possess a firearm on county property, effectively
banning gun shows. This ordinance affected a local business, owned by Russell
and Sallie Nordyke, which promotes gun shows throughout California. In an
attempt to continue holding their gun shows on the Alameda county fairgrounds
property, the Nordykes filed suit to strike down the ordinance.
The U.S. Court of Appeals upheld the ordinance banning guns on county
property, but found, consistent with the views of most Second Amendment
scholars, that the Second Amendment protects the right to keep and bear arms for
all law-abiding Americans. NRA is also pursuing litigation on that issue in
Chicago and Oak Park, Illinois. That case is currently pending before the U.S.
Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.
“The NRA shares the Nordykes' disappointment with the ruling on the county
ordinance, as gun shows should not be discriminated against by local government
entities. The incorporation portion of the decision, however, is a major step
forward in enshrining our Second Amendment freedoms,” said Cox.
“This decision brings us closer to seeing Heller applied throughout the
land,” concluded Cox. “After nearly 10 years of litigation, the hard work of the
Nordykes, their attorneys, Donald Kilmer and Don Kates, and NRA’s legal team has
resulted in today’s historic decision.”