Reps Flores-Thatcher Add Names to National Gun Rights Lawsuit
(Salem) State Representative Linda Flores (R-Clackamas) and State Representative Kim Thatcher (R-Keizer, Newberg, St. Paul) added their names to a new effort to overturn the ban on handguns in the nation’s capitol. The National Rifle Association filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court and Representatives Flores and Thatcher are among dozens of women legislators across the country showing their support for the brief.
“On behalf of NRA members in Oregon and all across the country, I would like to thank State Representatives Linda Flores and Kim Thatcher for their support of the Second Amendment and an individuals right to own firearms,” said Chris W. Cox, NRA’s chief lobbyist. “The American people “• whether Democrat or Republican, urban or rural “• know that the Second Amendment was not written to give a right to the government, but rather to guarantee the fundamental right of individual citizens.”
Representative Flores noted, “this may seem like an issue impacting a city on the other side of the country, but if we erode gun rights in one community, we erode them for all of us.” Both Flores and Representative Thatcher have been strong supporters of the Second Amendment and sponsored legislation in Oregon to protect gun owners. “The crime rate has only gone up since the D.C. ban took effect. Law abiding citizens have a right to defend their families from harm,” explained Thatcher.
Last fall the Supreme Court agreed to review the case of several residents of the District of Columbia challenging current D.C. gun regulation. The current law includes a prohibition on the possession of any rifle, shotgun, or handgun unless it is registered, even in the home. However, the law forbids the registration of any handgun after 1976, and requires a license to carry a registered handgun in the home. Such licenses are never given. There is no exemption for self-defense or defense of others, nor is there any recognition that such a ban on handguns and readily available long guns likely disproportionately harms women.
An appellate court struck down this law as an infringement of the right to keep arms in the home guaranteed by the Second Amendment. The District of Columbia is trying to reverse the appeals court. If successful, a victory for D.C. would provide legitimacy to similarly restrictive gun regulations in other cities across the nation. This case is the first time since 1939 that the Supreme Court has been willing to consider a challenge to a firearm law.