Alan Gura

Saturday, March 1st, 2008

Alan Gura, the counsel of record for the pro-gun side in the gun case being argued this month before the United States Supreme Court, is the CCRKBA Gun Rights Defender of the Month for March
In nominating Gura for the Award, John M. Snyder, CCRKBA Public Affairs Director, said that, “in this landmark case, Alan has been the public leader of the charge in the lower courts, through the Appellate Court and now all the way up to the U.S. Supreme Court.
“The whole development is a tribute to his dedication and persistence as well as to his professional competence. He has taken a tremendous responsibility on his shoulders, in effect becoming the spokesman before the Supreme Court not only for the rights of law-abiding Washington, D.C. residents, but indeed also for the individual Second Amendment civil right of all law-abiding American citizens to keep and bear arms. We wish him well. He is in our prayers as he carries forward the banner of freedom. He most certainly deserves this Award as a sign of our appreciation for his efforts on behalf of our rights.”
In the case up for consideration by the Supreme Court, District of Columbia v. Heller, Alan Gura, along with his associates and supporters, maintains that the District of Columbia gun law virtually banning private handgun acquisition and effectively prohibiting the availability of firearms for purposes of self-defense is an unconstitutional violation of the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.
In a recent analysis of the case, known originally as Parker v. District of Columbia, Gura stated that, “Fear and disinformation have long been the hallmarks of the movement to end private gun ownership. Not surprisingly, the D.C. Circuit’s decision in Parker v. District of Columbia, confirming that people have an individual right to keep and bear arms, has elicited outrageous predictions of doom from gun prohibitionists. The Violence Policy Center’s Josh Sugarmann neatly summed up the hysteria in warning that Parker ‘may mark the beginning of a long, national nightmare from which we will never recover as a nation.’
“Allow me to offer a more optimistic view: Parker not only marks the beginning of the end of gun prohibition, it might also reverse the erosion of our individual rights by re-enforcing the primacy of judicial review and preventing sophists from defining rights out of existence.”
Alan Gura pointed out that, “Most Americans are not Second Amendment absolutists, in either the negative or positive sense of the term. We tend to appreciate the individual right to arms without excessive regulatory harassment, understanding the value that firearms provide in securing individuals from violent criminal predation and precluding a dangerous government monopoly on force. We likewise understand that not all weapons should be possessed by all people at all times.
“In practical terms, Parker’s correct interpretation of the Second Amendment – a cherished individual right which, like all other rights, is subject to some measure of regulation – happily coincides with the public’s appreciation of constitutional liberty…Parker means merely that courts will evaluate gun laws the same way that courts review laws touching upon other constitutional rights: by balancing the fundamental individual right at stake against the purported regulatory interest.”
Gura’s law practice focuses primarily on civil and appellate legislation, with an emphasis on intellectual property, constitutional law, and civil rights.
Prior to founding Gura and Possessky, PLLC, Gura began his career by serving as a law clerk to the Honorable Terrence W. Boyle, United States District Judge for the Eastern District of North Carolina. Subsequently, as a Deputy Attorney General for the State of California, Gura defended the State of California and its employees from all manner of lawsuits, in state and federal courts, at trial and on appeal. Thereafter, Alan entered the private practice of law with the Washington, D.C. offices of Sidley and Austin. In February 2000, he left the firm to serve for a year as Counsel to the United States Senate Judiciary Committee, Subcommittee on Criminal Justice Oversight.
Alan Gura is admitted as an active member in good standing in the District of Columbia Bar, the Virginia State Bar, and the State Bar of California. He also is admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court, the United States Courts of Appeals for the Second, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Ninth, Eleventh, Federal and District of Columbia Circuits; and the United States District Courts for the District of Columbia, the Eastern District of Virginia, and the Central, Southern, Eastern and Northern Districts of California.