WASHINGTON, D.C. (Legal Newsline) - A victory for firearms makers, gun enthusiasists and the Second Amendment Thursday was also a victory for a group of state attorneys general.

A 5-4 vote by the Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court held that the Second Amendment provides citizens the right to own firearms, overturning a ban in the District of Columbia. Thirty-one attorneys general joined in filing an amicus brief authored by Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott.

Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox was one of the 31 celebrating the ruling. He is a former prosecutor and head of the Homicide Unit of the Wayne County Prosecutor's office.

"I never saw anyone charged with murder who had a license to legally carry a concealed weapon," Cox said. "Most people who want to possess guns are law-abiding and present no threat to others.

"Rather than the availability of weapons, my experience is that gun violence is driven by culture, police presence (or lack of same) and failures in the supervision of parolees and probationers."

Cox submitted an editorial piece that ran in a November edition of the Wall Street Journal. Virginia's Bob McDonnell was equally joyous.

"It is a fundamental individual right that government must respect and protect," McDonnell said. "The District of Columbia ban was an unconstitutional infringement of this right, and the Court has correctly confirmed this position."

In addition to Virginia and Michigan, the attorneys general of the following states joined in Abbott's brief: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, West Virginia and Wyoming.

Missouri's Jay Nixon, a candidate for Governor, said the 32-year-old D.C. ban "went far beyond what most Americans consider reasonable in the regulation of firearms."

Shares of publicly traded firearms makers increased Thursday following the ruling.

From Legal Newsline: Reach John O'Brien by e-mail at

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