Policy Documents

Amicus Brief: Parker v. District of Columbia

August 28, 2003

The Heartland Institute filed an amicus brief with the Federal District Court for the District of Columbia urging that court to enter judgment in favor of the plaintiffs in the Heller gun case. The brief was written by Maureen Martin, Heartland’s senior fellow for legal affairs.

In the brief, Heartland submitted crime rate data establishing that handgun bans such as the one in effect in the District of Columbia result in more violent crime, not less. Heartland therefore urged the court to find for the plaintiffs on this policy ground.

Heartland’s brief also countered the District’s argument that the Second Amendment guarantees gun ownership by militia members but does not secure an individual right to keep and bear arms. This latter argument was rejected by the District Court, but the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed and the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed on this ground.