Washington resident Richard A. “Dick” Heller, whose Supreme Court case overturned the capital’s handgun ban, told Big League Politics he is uncomfortable with President Donald J. Trump pledging to revisit the gun laws debate.
Trump told reporters Tuesday morning before leaving the White House to visit Puerto Rico: “We’ll be talking about gun laws as time goes by.”
Heller said he is uncomfortable with the president giving cover to opponents of gun rights and his willingness to open up what should be settled law.
“I am concerned that we are even having the conversation,” he said. “That’s what upsets me.”
It would have been better if Trump had dismissed any discussion of gun laws out of hand, he said. “That would have been nice—the Second Amendment means what it says.”
The 2008 Heller Decision was the first gun rights ruling by the Supreme Court in more than 70 years and the case ushered in the current era of states and the federal government restoring gun rights. When Heller filed his petition in 2003, he was a special police officer guarding the Supreme Court.
Every day at the end of his shift, the Army veteran of the 101st Airborne Division had to turn in his handgun to the high court’s armory before riding his bike or walking through his deteriorating neighborhood in Southeast.
Despite his landmark legal victory, Heller still is not allowed carry his handgun outside his home, so he is continuing to press for gun rights in the District of Columbia and across the country.
Heller said he is not ready to panic about the president supporting restrictions on gun rights, yet.
“To have any concern there is to agree that if you disarm the people, crime goes down,” he said. “AS long as the theorem of more guns, less crime holds, I am not too concerned about it.
“He makes his own decisions based not on his own needs or feelings, but on the needs of America,” he said. “That’s a good thing.”
Heller said he is also heartened by the two powerful allies close to the president, his sons Donald Jr. and Eric. “His sons and he—all three of them are all avid hunters, so I don’t think we’re in danger there.”