NRA Sues Wilmington Housing Authority for Violating Residents’ Second Amendment Rights

article top


The National Rifle Association’s lawsuit could be the first of several legal actions taken against Delaware housing authorities with active gun bans.

By Lee Williams of

WILMINGTON, Del. – The National Rifle Association filed a civil rights lawsuit today against the Wilmington Housing Authority (WHA) and its executive director Frederick S. Purnell, Sr., seeking to force the WHA to allow its residents to possess firearms within their homes.

The civil rights lawsuit was filed in the Delaware Court of Chancery by Wilmington Attorney Francis Pileggi, the founding partner of Fox Rothschild LLP’s Wilmington office.

The question before the court, Pileggi said, is “whether or not residents of a public housing authority can be deprived of their Constitutional right to bear arms for self defense.”

“I think it’s important to remember that the Second Amendment rights being championed here are the first example of civil rights dating from the time of the Civil War,” Pileggi told the Caesar Rodney Institute. “The Second Amendment is just as important as any other amendment in the Bill of Rights.”

Pileggi first learned the WHA banned its residents from owing firearms after reading a special report by the Caesar Rodney Institute titled “Delaware Public Housing: Disarmed by Decree.”

CRI’s report revealed that many public housing residents feel trapped in their homes because of crime in their communities, yet they are prohibited from owning firearms for self-defense.