SAF CALLS ON WASHINGTON, D.C. TO DROP LAWSUIT, END GUN BAN

Tuesday, December 17th, 2002

BELLEVUE, WA – The Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) today applauded a ruling by Washington, D.C. Superior Court Judge Cheryl M. Long that dismisses a lawsuit against the firearms industry, and instead suggested that if the city wants to reduce gun violence, it should scrap its prohibition on legally-owned handguns.

“The District is a crime capital as much as it is the capital of our nation,” said SAF Founder Alan Gottlieb. “The reason for that is simple. Years ago, Washington, D.C. imposed a ban on legally-owned handguns, thus creating an environment where only the criminals are armed, and their intended victims have been left defenseless.

“If the city really wants to reduce its crime problem,” Gottlieb suggested, “it needs to allow its law-abiding residents the means with which to defend themselves. That can only happen if the ban on handguns, which has proven to be worthless as a crime-fighting measure, is scrapped.”

Gottlieb noted that violent crime in the District has risen despite the claims by handgun ban proponents that disarming city residents would make the city safer. Private citizens may not even have rifles or shotguns unless they are disassembled and locked up.

“Lawsuits against gun makers will not make violent crime go away,” Gottlieb explained. “Taking gun makers to court does nothing to deter violent criminals. Municipal lawsuits like the one filed by Washington, D.C. attempt to punish an industry in a legal system that has not been terribly effective at punishing criminals. That’s not justice, it is denial.”

SAF has historically fought to defend the gun rights of law-abiding citizens, and is currently waging a court battle in Ohio to strike down that state’s ban on concealed carry. That ban has already been ruled unconstitutional by two lower courts and the case is now before the state Supreme Court.

“Citizens in Washington, D.C. should have the same self-defense rights as citizens in Ohio or any other state,” Gottlieb observed. “A law that puts them at the mercy of thugs accomplishes nothing in terms of public safety, and the same can easily be said of lawsuits against the firearms industry.”