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NRA sues Wilmington Housing Authority

Thursday, May 27th, 2010



The National Rifle Association is taking aim at the Wilmington Housing Authority’s ban on gun possession in public housing units.

The NRA has filed a civil lawsuit in the Delaware Court of Chancery claiming that residents at WHA properties are having their Second Amendment rights violated by the gun ban.  The suit claims that the gun ban applies to low-income residents of public housing.  It states, “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.”

Executive director for the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action Chris Cox said in a statement about the suit, “This is a clear case of discrimination against housing authority residents. It’s illegal, shameful and wrong to deny residents their constitutional rights, and it could have serious life or death consequences.”  He says it’s a battle the NRA has fought in a number of states.  “Many public housing projects are high-crime areas where people most desperately need the right to defend themselves.”

The gun rights group sent letters to state officials earlier this year threatening such a lawsuit if the ban was not removed.  That threat sparked legislation earlier this year to undo the ban.  House Bill 357 has been awaiting action since being assigned to the House Administration Committee in February.  Some community groups gathered to protest the legislation shortly after it was introduced.  They say allowing guns in public housing units would increase the danger level among a vulnerable population.


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