LAS VEGAS, July 14 (UPI) -- The Nevada chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union says it backs gun owners' rights to bear arms in the wake of a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling.
The state's ACLU chapter has broken with its national counterpart in taking the stance, which came after the high court ruled last month that a District of Columbia handgun ban was unconstitutional and, for the first time, interpreted the Second Amendment as an individual right, The Washington Times reported Monday.
"Obviously, the ACLU in Nevada has seen the light on this issue and we are happy they have," Ben Kieckhefer, a spokesman for Nevada Gov. Jim Gibbons, a Republican, told the newspaper. "It adds to the long list of supporters of Second Amendment rights in the state … It is a state where the right to bear arms is held close to the heart."
"The ACLU of Nevada will defend this right as it defends other constitutional rights," the group said in a statement posted on its Web site.
"Our local ACLU affiliates are free to take positions that differ from those of the national office," Dorothy Ehrlich, ACLU deputy executive director, told the Times. "While the organization is unified in purpose, we do not impose uniformity regarding specific positions."