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BOSTON – Eighteen district attorneys across the nation filed a joint amici curiae brief with the Supreme Court asking the court to uphold laws that give them the authority prosecute gun offenders. The district attorneys believe the case will affect whether a criminal conviction under the District of Columbia’s handgun ban is valid under the U.S. Constitution’s second amendment, which gives citizens the right to bear arms. District of Columbia v. Heller, No.07-290 (Supreme Court) A lower court dismissed a complaint that the district’s gun control laws violated the second amendment, but the District of Columbia’s Appeals Court reversed that decision last year. Parker v. District of Columbia, 478 F.3d 370 (D.C. Cir. 2007) District attorneys offices lack the resources to defend the constitutionality of laws banning felons from possessing firearms, said Daniel F. Conley of Suffolk County, Mass., which includes Boston. “Offices like mine are already severely underfunded. The prospect of having to expend resources to defend the constitutionality of common sense laws that ban firearm possession by felons, possession of machine guns, and laws where penalties increase when committed with firearms is frightening,” Conley said. Five district attorneys in California signed onto the brief: Edward S. Berberian, of Marin County, California; Bonnie M. Dumanis of San Diego County; Kamala D. Harris of San Francisco County; Thomas J. Orloff of Alameda County, which includes Oakland; and Jeffrey Tuttle of Calaveras County. In New York state, five district attorneys also signed on: Richard A. Brown of Queens County; Charles J. Hynes of Kings County (Brooklyn); Robert T. Johnson of Bronx County; Robert M. Morgenthau of New York County (Manhattan); and P. David Soares of Albany County. Two Minnesota also jumped into the fray: Michael O. Freeman of Hennepin County and Robert M.A. Johnson of Anoka County. Six district attorneys representing other major cities and geographical areas are also on board, including: Conley; Richard A. Devine of Cook County, Ill., which includes Chicago: Paul L. Howard, Jr. of Fulton County, Ga.; Glenn F. Ivey of Prince George’s County, Md.; Kym L. Worthy of Wayne County, Michigan, which includes Detroit; and Craig T. Watkins of Dallas County, Texas.

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