Reposted with Bush & Co. instead of big boys to avoid confusion. http://www.scotusblog.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2008/01/us-heller-brief-1-11-08.pdf Basically Bush via various individuals and institutions. Cliffs (compared to the argument they are cliffs, but basically they are worried about undoing gun control is how I read it) SUMMARY OF ARGUMENT A. The court of appeals correctly held that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess firearms unrelated to militia operations. By its plain text, the Second Amendment secures a “right,” a term that the Constitution consistently uses to refer to individual freedoms rather than state prerogatives. The text also makes clear that the right is not limited to members of a select body (like today’s National Guard) but extends to “the people” generally. The Second Amendment’s placement within the Bill of Rights, and its use of a phrase (“the people”) that has acquired a settled meaning in surrounding constitutional provisions, reinforces the most natural reading of the Amendment’s text. The Second Amendment’s prefatory language, which refers to the “necess[ity]” of a “well regulated Militia,” does not negate the Amendment’s operative guarantee. It was common in constitutional and statutory provisions at the time of the Framing for prefatory language to identify a goal or principle of wise governance narrower than the operative language used to achieve it. The logical connection between militia operations and a general right of private gun ownership was particularly clear when the Second Amendment was adopted, since the Framing-era “Militia” was not a select body like today’s National Guard, but instead comprised the free white male citizenry of fighting age, whose members were expected to bring their own weapons when called to service. 8 B. Although the court of appeals correctly held that the Second Amendment protects an individual right, it did not apply the correct standard for evaluating respondent’s Second Amendment claim. Like other provisions of the Constitution that secure individual rights, the Second Amendment’s protection of individual rights does not render all laws limiting gun ownership automatically invalid. To the contrary, the Second Amendment, properly construed, allows for reasonable regulation of firearms, must be interpreted in light of context and history, and is subject to important exceptions, such as the rule that convicted felons may be denied firearms because those persons have never been understood to be within the Amendment’s protections. Nothing in the Second Amendment properly understood—and certainly no principle necessary to decide this case—calls for invalidation of the numerous federal laws regulating firearms. When, as here, a law directly limits the private possession of “Arms” in a way that has no grounding in Framing-era practice, the Second Amendment requires that the law be subject to heightened scrutiny that considers (a) the practical impact of the challenged restrictions on the plaintiff ’s ability to possess firearms for lawful purposes (which depends in turn on the nature and functional adequacy of available alternatives), and (b) the strength of the government’s interest in enforcement of the relevant restriction. Cf. Burdick v. Takushi, 504 U.S. 428, 434 (1992). Under that intermediate level of review, the “rigorousness” of the inquiry depends on the degree of the burden on protected conduct, and important regulatory interests are typically sufficient to justify reasonable restrictions. Ibid. 9 The court of appeals, by contrast, appears to have adopted a more categorical approach. The court’s decision could be read to hold that the Second Amendment categorically precludes any ban on a category of “Arms” that can be traced back to the Founding era. If adopted by this Court, such an analysis could cast doubt on the constitutionality of existing federal legislation prohibiting the possession of certain firearms, including machineguns. However, the text and history of the Second Amendment point to a more flexible standard of review. Just as the Second Congress expressed judgments about what “Arms” were appropriate for certain members of the militia, Congress today retains discretion in regulating “Arms,” including those with military uses, in ways that further legitimate government interests. Under an appropriate standard of review, existing federal regulations, such as the prohibition on machineguns, readily pass constitutional muster. C. Given that the D.C. Code provisions at issue ban a commonly-used and commonly-possessed firearm in a way that has no grounding in Framing-era practice, those provisions warrant close scrutiny under the analysis described above and may well fail such scrutiny. However, when a lower court has analyzed a constitutional question under a standard different from the one adopted by this Court, the Court’s customary practice is to remand to permit further consideration (and any appropriate fact finding or legal determinations) by the lower courts in the first instance. Several factors counsel in favor of following the Court’s customary practice here, particularly the lack of case law from this Court fleshing out the potentially relevant doctrines and subdoctrines that might inform the Second Amendment analysis. Accordingly, after taking the foundational 10 steps discussed above, the better course would be to remand the case for further proceedings consistent with the Court’s opinion. A letter to Bush from member of congress http://www.gunowners.org/fs0803.pdf There is apparently another letter floating around in congress at the moment is what I am reading.