Rep. Joe Barton (R-Ennis/Arlington) released the following statement Monday after the U.S. Supreme Court, in its ruling on McDonald v. Chicago, extended the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms to all fifty states:
"It only makes sense that people should be able to defend themselves in their own homes. The Second Amendment in the Bill of Rights states "the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.' It doesn't mention geographical boundaries. However, Chicago's handgun ban has been keeping firearms out of the homes of law abiding citizens for years. At the same time the arsenal carried by criminals has grown in the Windy City causing gun violence to rise. The handgun ban did little to protect the citizens of the city and instead made them criminals if they chose to protect themselves with a firearm. It also infringed on the rights of hunters, sportsmen and weapons collectors.
The Supreme Court's decision to overturn this ineffective and draconian gun ban not only makes sense, it also restores the freedom to all citizens granted by our Constitution.
This is the second such ruling in recent years (in 2008 the Supreme Court overturned Washington, D.C.'s gun ban) and I hope it shows that the inalienable rights spelled out in the Constitution are still the law of the land.
However, the fact that this ruling was 5 to 4 shows how evenly the court is split and proves the importance of each high court nomination. I hope that Senators keep that in mind as the nomination hearings for Solicitor General Elena Kagan begin. We need to make sure that the newest Supreme Court Justice will be a steadfast protector of the Constitution."