Tester leads charge for gun rights in another Supreme Court case

Senator urges Court to side with gun rights in McDonald v. Chicago

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Senator Jon Tester is again leading the charge in Congress to ensure that all law-abiding Americans have the same rights guaranteed by the Second Amendment.

Tester today teamed up with Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to  support gun rights in its upcoming McDonald v. The City of Chicago case.

The Supreme Court recently agreed to make a decision in McDonald v. Chicago.  Justices will determine whether state and local governments have the right to pass their own laws restricting firearms.

Tester and Hutchison are writing a friend-of-the-court brief in favor of gun rights.

“The Second Amendment guarantees gun rights for all law-abiding Americans, no matter where they live,” said Tester, who serves as Vice Chairman of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus.   “I’m glad Republicans and Democrats are working together to tell the Supreme Court we expect it to stand up for our gun rights in this important case.”

McDonald v. Chicago is similar to another Supreme Court case that Tester and Hutchison became involved with.  Last year, they wrote a brief asking the Court to strike down Washington, D.C.’s longstanding ban on firearms in the Heller v. The District of Columbia case.

In the Heller case, the Supreme Court agreed Washington D.C.’s controversial ban on handguns violated the Second Amendment and struck it down on June 28, 2008.

The McDonald case is broader than the Heller case 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).

Senator Max Baucus plans to join Tester in signing the brief for the Supreme Court.

“Our state’s identity is firmly rooted in our outdoor heritage,” Baucus said.  “The Second Amendment is a vital part of our history, our heritage and our future. On behalf of every Montanan, I’m encouraging the Supreme Court to  protect this inalienable right for all Montanans and for law-abiding citizens across the country.”

“This case isn’t about politics or parties,” Tester said.  “It’s about our Constitution.  We were on the right side of the Constitution when the Supreme Court struck down D.C.’s gun ban, and we’re on the right side in McDonald v. Chicago.”

Earlier this year, Tester and Baucus successfully told the U.S. Attorney General to back down from any plans to ban assault weapons.  They also got the Pentagon to reverse a controversial decision to not sell used brass casings for ammunition.  And they supported a successful law allowing firearms in national parks.