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Jews For The Preservation of Firearms Ownership, Inc.
P.O. Box 270143
Hartford, WI 53027

Phone (800) 869-1884
Fax (425) 451-3959

August 14, 2003

This just in, we thought you would like to see it

Las Vegas SUN, August 14, 2003 at 17:53:10 PDT

Women, Jews, Others Join Pro-Gun Effort

WASHINGTON (AP) - The National Rifle Association has plenty of company in a major gun rights case that the Supreme Court is considering hearing.

Among the organizations that have joined the case are the Pink Pistols, a group of gay and lesbian gun owners; the Second Amendment Sisters; and Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership. They are asking the court to consider if the Constitution's Second Amendment guarantees the right to own a gun.

At issue is an appeal filed this summer by some rugby teammatesand friends who challenged California's assault weapons ban. They lost at the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, which ruled the Constitution protects gun rights of militias but not individuals.

Their lawyer, Gary Gorski of Fair Oaks, Calif., mainly expectedto receive support from conservative, male-dominated organizations. Instead, friend-of-the-court briefs backing the appeal were filed by two women's groups, the Jewish organization,a doctors' group and the gay gun owners.

"Women Against Gun Control asks this court to give due regard tothe interest of women in equalizing things, be it in the workplace or a dark parking lot," lawyer Howard J. Fezell of Frederick, Md., told the court in a filing.

Pink Pistols lawyer Lisa Steele of Bolton, Mass., said justiceshave an opportunity to save the lives of gays who face hate crimes. A gun will help them "lawfully defend themselves againstwould-be gay bashers," she wrote.

Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership reminded the court that German Jews were barred from having firearms before the Holocaust.

"The tragic history of civilian disarmament cries a warning against any systematic attempts to render innocent citizens ill-equipped to defend themselves from tyrant terrorists, despots oroppressive majorities," wrote the group's lawyer, Daniel Schmutter of Paramus, N.J.

NRA lawyers, in their filing this month, said that the right ofpeople "to keep and bear arms is a bedrock feature of the Anglo-American legal tradition."

"It's not surprising that a number of groups from all walks of life have filed briefs in this case," Chris Cox, NRA's chief lobbyist, said Thursday.

California has not filed a response to the appeal. But the state,in the lower court, defended its ban of 75 high-powered weapons with rapid-fire capabilities.

The Supreme Court, after returning from the summer break, shouldannounce this fall whether it will hear the case.

The case is Silveira v. Lockyer, 03-51.


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