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By Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens is calling for the repeal of the Second Amendment to allow for significant gun control legislation.

The 97-year-old Stevens says in an essay on The New York Times website that repeal would weaken the National Rifle Association's ability to "block constructive gun control legislation."

Image: John Paul Stevens
Retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens testifies during the Senate Rules and Administration Committee hearing on April 30, 2014.Bill Clark / CQ-Roll Call via Getty Images

Stevens had previously called for changing the Second Amendment to permit gun control. He was on the losing end of a 2008 ruling in which the high court held that the Second Amendment gives individuals the right to own a gun for self-defense.

Stevens says the decision in that case, District of Columbia v. Heller, "has provided the N.R.A. with a propaganda weapon of immense power." Stevens retired from the court in 2010, after more than 35 years.