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NRA to Appeal Wilmington Housing Authority Gun Ban

By Robyn Hagan Cain on August 29, 2012 4:02 PM

The National Rifle Association isn’t finished fighting the Wilmington Housing Authority gun ban.

Two residents (represented by NRA attorneys) sued WHA, claiming that the ban on guns in common areas of public housing complexes violated residents’ Second Amendment rights. The plaintiffs argued that the gun ban applied to low-income residents of public housing, and criticized that “wealthier persons who live in another type of government housing, such as the Governor of the State of Delaware, are not deprived of the right to keep and bear arms,” reports WHYY.

In July, District Judge Leonard P. Stark upheld the ban. This week, the NRA filed a notice of appeal, indicating that it would challenge the ruling in the Third Circuit Court of Appeals.

The original WHA gun ban, adopted in 2010, banned all guns in any part of housing authority buildings, including living spaces, reports Delaware Online. WHA backed away from the total gun ban after the Supreme Court ruled in 2010's McDonald v. City of Chicago that blanket gun bans are unconstitutional. WHA responded with the current rule, which prohibits residents from displaying or using a gun in public areas of government housing.

Last month, Judge Stark acknowledged that the WHA gun ban imposed a burden on the plaintiffs, but concluded that it was not an unreasonable way to maintain safety.

Francis G.X. Pileggi, one of the attorneys representing the plaintiffs, told Delaware Online that he believes that there are issues that the Third Circuit Court of Appeals needs to review relating to how Judge Stark interpreted state law.

Regardless of the outcome in the Third Circuit, we anticipate that the litigants will try to push this issue all the way to the Supreme Court. If the courts continue to uphold the Wilmington Housing Authority gun ban, the rule could serve as a model for public housing authorities nationwide, according to USA Today.

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