Attorney Generals praise Second Amendment ruling

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 9, 2002

BNI Newswire

Following the Bush administration’s reversal of a decade-old interpretation of the Second Amendment, Alabama Attorney General Bill Pryor and 17 other state attorneys general have commended the new ruling.

The letter to U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft praises his "position that the text and the original intent of the Second Amendment clearly protect the right of individuals to keep and bear firearms. We agree that this is the proper reading of the Second Amendment, and that this policy best protects the fundamental interest of Americans in security and self-preservation."

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Other states which signed the letter include Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Kentucky, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia and Wyoming.

Prior to President Bush’s taking office, the administration held that the Second Amendment referred to a collective, not an individual, right to own guns.

The letter refers to historical research and debate on the meaning of the Second Amendment, most of which has reached the same conclusion of the state and federal attorneys general.

It is noted that even those who personally may not favor private gun ownership rights still have conceded the issue as a matter of legal scholarship.

The attorneys general concluded their letter to Ashcroft by stating, "We salute you for your efforts to uphold all of the Constitution, including the Second Amendment, and we offer you whatever assistance we can provide on this important issue."