Our fight to enact sensible gun laws will be undiminished by the Supreme Court's decision in the Heller case. While we disagree with the Supreme Court's ruling, which strips the citizens of the District of Columbia of a law they strongly support, the decision clearly suggests that other gun laws are entirely consistent with the Constitution.
For years, the gun lobby has used fear of government gun confiscation to thwart efforts to pass sensible gun laws, arguing that even modest gun laws will lead down the path to a complete ban on gun ownership. Now that the Court has struck down the District's ban on handguns, while making it clear that the Constitution allows for reasonable restrictions on access to dangerous weapons, this 'slippery slope' argument is gone.
The Court also rejected the absolutist misreading of the Second Amendment that some use to argue 'any gun, any time for anyone,' which many politicians have used as an excuse to do nothing about the scourge of gun violence in our country and to block passage of common sense gun laws. Lifesaving proposals such as requiring Brady background checks on all gun sales, limiting bulk sales of handguns, and strengthening the power of federal authorities to shut down corrupt gun dealers can now be debated on their merits without distractions of fear or ideology.
The Heller decision, however, will most likely embolden criminal defendants, and ideological extremists, to file new legal attacks on existing gun laws. With the help of the Brady Center's legal team, those attacks can, and must, be successfully resisted in the interest of public safety.
After the Heller ruling, as before, approximately 80 Americans will continue to die from guns every day. Our weak or non-existent gun laws contribute to the thousands of senseless gun deaths and injuries in this country that occur each year. We must continue to fight for sensible gun laws to help protect our families and our communities.