Tester joins effort to overturn law

The Great Falls Tribune

by Ledge King

WASHINGTON — Sen. Jon Tester is reloading his argument for gun rights a year after weighing in on a similar case before the nation’s highest court.

Tester, D-Mont., is helping to lead a bipartisan congressional effort by filing legal arguments in support of a Chicago man who is challenging the city’s longstanding ban on handguns. The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case, known as McDonald vs. Chicago.

Analysts say the court’s determination would go a long way to define what gun rights Americans enjoy under the Second Amendment specifically — whether rights are conferred only to those in collective militias or also to individuals wishing to have a gun. An avid gun-rights defender, Tester believes the latter.

“The right to keep and bear arms is solidly clear in my mind,” Tester said at a press conference Wednesday with Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, who is
working with Tester on the amicus brief that will be filed with the court.

Tester was part of a similar effort with Hutchison last year. They wrote a brief asking the Supreme Court to strike down Washington, D.C.’s ban on firearms in a case known as Heller vs. the District of Columbia.

The court ruled the ban unconstitutional.

The Chicago case is broader because it will apply to gun rights in all state and city governments — not just the federal government (the city of Washington, D.C., is part of the federal government).

Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., plans to join in the effort, according to Tester’s office.