December 18, 2007

• NRA eyes SCOTUS Battle

Posted in From The Blog-O-Sphere, Legal, Politically Speaking at 8:16 pm by Rid

NRA eyes Supreme Court battle

National president also urges Oklahomans to vote for gun rights candidates

Alice Collinsworth
The Edmond Sun
OKLAHOMA CITY Two looming issues are on the minds of National Rifle Association of America members in Oklahoma and across the nation.

NRA President John Sigler was the guest at a Monday reception by H&H Gun Range in Oklahoma City, and he said the U.S. Supreme Court’s examination of Second Amendment rights and next year’s presidential elections are on the minds of citizens in every state.

“I expect to see a lively debate before the Supreme Court in 2008,” Sigler said.

He also addressed the Rotary Club of Oklahoma City today.

The NRA will participate in the case through briefs as a friend of the court.

“It is important in Oklahoma and in every state that it answers the questions once and for all,” Sigler said. “Our forefathers understood (the right to bear arms) as not just an individual right but as a God-given right. It is part of our birthright.”

Another issue raising discussion across the country is the upcoming presidential election, Sigler said.

“Voters need to look for individuals who will protect the fundamental rights that are important to us as a nation,” he said. “They need to ask the candidates questions that revolve around the fundamental principles of our government, and all the more personal issues … will fall into place if those conditions are met.”

Suzi Rouse, president of the Oklahoma City Gun Club, said she looks forward to the Supreme Court’s consideration of gun control issues.

“It’s all about securing and preserving our Second Amendment rights — that is a huge case and I think it will probably be ruled on before the election. It’s all going to come down to the wording, which will make all the difference in the world.”

Sigler, a Delaware resident, has visited Oklahoma several times in the past, but this is only his second appearance as an NRA officer. He is a Navy veteran and a former police captain who now practices law in Delaware and Maryland.

He said he sees his visits to each state as a responsibility.

“Part of my role is to get out and hear what the membership has to say,” he said. “I want to hear their suggestions, their hopes and their dreams.”

Sigler said the four-million-strong NRA is the oldest civil rights group in the United States, working to protect individual rights and to provide training and responsible use of firearms.

Miles Hall, Edmond resident and H&H owner, said Sigler is genuinely concerned with the individual rights of citizens across the country.

“John is a very ‘see, meet, touch and feel it’ kind of guy,” Hall said. “He’s very approachable, and wants to keep the connection with the people. He understands the meaning of the word ‘service,’ so coming to Oklahoma seems to be very logical; we are a very service-oriented state.”

Attendees said they were happy Sigler visited Oklahoma during such a politically important time.

“It’s nice that the mainstream political people are taking the time to come and recognize us here,” said Doug Friesen, law instructor for H&H. “For years, they haven’t had to, because we’ve always been a pro-victim state.”

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