NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris W. Cox
GLEN: Let me go to the NRA. Do we have Chris on phone? Chris?
COX: Hey, Glenn, how are you today?
GLENN: Well, how are you?
COX: I’m doing great, I’m doing great.
GLENN: This is — I hate to say this is a banner day for gun owners. This is a banner day for anybody who respects the Constitution.
COX: Well, you are exactly right and it’s a landmark decision. And the Supreme Court affirmed what the American people have known all along, that good people have the right to own a firearm and God forbid they ever need it. They have a right to defend their life and their families with that firearm. So, you know, this is a day that the extremists and the elitists have lost and the good honest people in America have won.
GLENN: What was the mood like at the NRA?
COX: Well, obviously we read into the opinion before we got too excited but again it was a narrow ruling but it’s a very important ruling. For the first time in American history the Supreme Court has put the Constitution on the side of law-abiding gun owners. So that in and of itself is historic. And they also sent a message to politicians all across America that you can’t ban handguns from law-abiding people. You can’t make people defenseless in their home by making self-defense illegal. It’s not only dangerous but it’s unconstitutional. Then to take it a step further, you know, our kids are reading in their textbooks that the Second Amendment’s not an individual right. All of those things are going to change. This is a historic day.
GLENN: I haven’t had a chance to read the whole thing. I’ve been briefed on it here during the breaks because it’s come out while I was on the air. But it’s my understanding that it is — several places it says about keeping and bearing arms in your own home. Does this go — does this branch out at all into concealed carry permits like in New York City?
COX: Glenn, it doesn’t. Those rules weren’t challenged in this lawsuit. There were three questions that the Court had an opportunity to answer. One is on an individual right, which they agreed with the National Rifle Association and the American people that this is an individual right, not a collective right. The second question was on a total ban on handguns for law-abiding people of the district. Once again D.C. got it wrong; the Supreme Court agreed. The third question was on operable firearms in your home, can you keep a loaded gun for self-defense. D.C. said no; the NRA said yes; the United States Supreme Court agreed with the NRA that D.C. was extremist and elitist and unconstitutional. Now, they do talk extensively in their decisions about self-defense and about not only the right to hunt but the right to use a firearm for self-defense and so this is not the end, Glenn. This is only the end of the beginning. There will be both legislative and legal fights all over the country, but the National Rifle Association is going to be anywhere in America where politicians are trying to treat law-abiding gun owners as second class citizens. This is a fundamental right. It’s just as important as the rest of the rights and we’re not going to let it be treated otherwise.
GLENN: What happens in Chicago now?
COX: There will be a challenge to Chicago, to the suburbs’ bans on handguns, there will be challenges all over the country to total bans on firearms and public housing. Poor people deserve a right to self-defense just like rich people, particularly rich people like Barack Obama who have taxpayer-funded security around them but tell the rest of America that when it comes to self-defense, you’re out of luck.
GLENN: Are you concerned at all about — because this is going to be challenged. There’s going to be court case after court case after court case. There was kind of a mutually assured destruction kind of thing going on between the anti-gun people and the gun people where you just didn’t want to challenge anything, just let it be because you never know which way it’s going to be. Now that this has happened, now there are going to be court case after court case after court case. Are you worried at all that one person leaves this court that’s conservative and the whole thing could be turned upside down again?
COX: Well, Glenn, it shows the importance of the elections. It shows who gets to pick Supreme Court nominees and who gets to pick on their confirmation. All of those, that’s a valid point. Gun owners all over the country are watching very closely because two or three Supreme Court vacancies, two or three new justices and they could come back and take this all away. But at the end of the day the gun control groups, whether it’s the Brady campaign or the others, they went to the Supreme Court and said that this was not an individual right. They said that D.C.’s handgun ban was constitutional and they said that people did not have a right to keep a firearm in their home for self-defense. They lost across the board. While it’s a narrow decision, it’s a historic decision and one that we are prepared to go all over the country and anywhere they try to treat law-abiding gun owners as second class citizens, the National Rifle Association’s going to be there, whether it’s in a state legislature, a city council or a courtroom.
GLENN: Chris Cox from the NRA, thank you, sir.
COX: Thanks for having me.