RNLA Board of Governors member Charles Cooper testified today before the Senate Judiciary Committee concerning “Proposals to Reduce Gun Violence: Protecting Our Communities While Respecting the Second Amendment.” Cooper’s written testimony declares that the proposed semiautomatic assault weapons ban and prohibition on high capacity gun magazines “would violate the Second Amendment by prohibiting the use of arms that are in common use by ordinary Americans for self defense and other lawful purposes.”
Cooper identified a few pertinent legal points: the Supreme Court held that the Second Amendment protects an individual right; the Second Amendment is not a second class right; and the Second Amendment enshrined the scope of when it was adopted. He said that it is an “enumerated constitutional provision that protects a particular type of personal property.” Cooper explained that the Constitution protects Second Amendment rights to bear arms much as the First Amendment protects a right to bear a copy of a Bible, Koran or other religious book.
Cooper has extensive experience with Second Amendment matters. In the Heller case, Cooper submitted an amicus brief on behalf of former officials in the Department of Justice arguing that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual right to keep and bear arms. Cooper also served as Special Assistant Attorney General for the State of Alabama Special Assistant Attorney General for the State of Oklahoma to present oral arguments on cases involving the Second Amendment. He is currently litigating cases for clients such as the National Rifle Association to vindicate rights under the Second Amendment.