U.S. District Court Holds that NRA is Entitled to Attorneys' Fees for Lawsuits Against Chicago and Oak Park, Illinois

Posted on June 26, 2012

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Fairfax, Va. –  The United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division has conclusively held that the National Rifle Association has the right to recover attorneys’ fees in the case of National Rifle Association v. City of Chicago and National Rifle Association v. Village of Oak Park, in which the NRA was a prevailing party. This District Court's decision, which held that the NRA is entitled to over $1.3 million in fees, follows a similar ruling by the U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.

“This is a significant victory in our ongoing effort to defend the Second Amendment rights of all Americans.  Our Right to Keep and Bear Arms does not stop at the border of the city of Chicago and village of Oak Park,” said Chris W. Cox, executive director of NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action. “This significant fee award clearly shows the importance of the NRA's role in McDonald v. City of Chicago as well as NRA v. Chicago and NRA v. Oak Park."

In reference to the McDonald case, the Court stated that the McDonald attorneys and NRA attorneys "took different approaches to their respective cases: McDonald said that the Second Amendment applies to the states by virtue of the Privileges and Immunities Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, while NRA said it applied by virtue of the doctrine of substantive due process."

In the wake of its historic rulings in these cases, the U.S. Supreme Court remanded them for an injunction against Chicago and Oak Park's unconstitutional handgun bans. Before that injunction was issued, however, the bans were replaced by an overly burdensome regulation scheme. Chicago and Oak Park then argued that the NRA was not a prevailing party and was not entitled to recovering attorneys’ fees.

After the Seventh Circuit held that the NRA was indeed a prevailing party and is therefore entitled to recover its fees, the case was sent back to the District Court, which held that the NRA is entitled to over $1.3 million for its significant work in these cases.

“The Court's holding shows the importance of the NRA's ongoing fight -- not just in Congress and the state legislatures, but also in the courts -- for the right of all law-abiding Americans to Keep and Bear Arms.  We'll keep fighting to ensure that the Second Amendment is fully respected throughout the country," concluded Cox.

-NRA-
Established in 1871, the National Rifle Association is America's oldest civil rights and sportsmen's group. Four million members strong, NRA continues to uphold the Second Amendment and advocates enforcement of existing laws against violent offenders to reduce crime. The Association remains the nation's leader in firearm education and training for law-abiding gun owners, law enforcement and the armed services. Be sure to follow the NRA on Facebook at www.facebook.com/NationalRifleAssociation and on Twitter @NRA.

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