Tester: Supreme Court decision ‘one heckuva victory’ for gun rights

Senator authored Friend-of-Court brief in support of ruling

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Senator Jon Tester hailed today's U.S. Supreme Court decision on gun rights as "one helluva victory" for gun owners in Montana and across the country.

In what many are calling the biggest gun rights ruling in history, the Court struck down Washington, D.C.'s controversial ban on handguns and rifles in city limits—a ban that Tester says has violated the Second Amendment since it went into effect in 1976.

Minutes after today's ruling, Tester and other staunch supporters of gun rights praised the landmark decision on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court.

"This is a great day for the country, for the Constitution, and for the people to affirm the fact that we have the right to keep and bear arms—regardless of where you live, whether it's in rural Montana where I come from or here in Washington, D.C.," Tester said.  "I'm very proud of the Court.  I think they made the right decision.  It was a clean decision."

Tester, along with Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, had urged the Court to strike-down the city's ban.  Working across party lines, Tester and Hutchison drafted a Friend-of-the-Court brief asking the Supreme Court to overturn Washington D.C.'s gun ban.  The brief has been signed by 55 U.S. Senators, including Senator Max Baucus, and 250 members of the House of Representatives.

Earlier this year Tester and Hutchison spoke about their brief at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think-tank. 

"I believe that when one person's rights are taken away, all of our rights are taken away," Tester said during his speech to the Heritage Foundation.  "And I believe that when any law-abiding American's right to bear arms is compromised, my right to bear arms is compromised.  If we value the Constitution, we must protect it.  Every part of it."

Senator Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, and leaders of the National Rifle Association joined Tester and Hutchison on the Supreme Court steps today to praise the landmark decision.