May 18th, 2019

SCOTUS Will Hear Challenge to Crazy New York City Gun Law

SCOTUS U.S. Supreme Court New York City handgun law challenge appeal

Story based on Report by NRA-ILA
The U.S. Supreme Court has taken up a challenge by an NRA state affiliate to a New York City gun control scheme that effectively prohibits lawfully-licensed handgun owners from leaving the city with their own firearms. In the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. City of New York, NY case, the plaintiffs raise objections to the N.Y. City law, particularly that it violates the Second Amendment.

Few laws in the history of our nation, or even in contemporary times, have come close to such a sweeping prohibition on the transportation of arms. — U.S. DOJ Brief challenging N.Y. City law

Given the uniquely oppressive and bizarre nature of the challenged restrictions, many observers believe the real question in the case isn’t whether New York City will lose but on what grounds and how badly. The City itself, in fact, recently made a desperate attempt to avoid a ruling on its laws by claiming to the court that it was in the process of revising the regulations to address the issues raised in the case. The court rejected that gambit, and proceedings in the case have continued.

SCOTUS U.S. Supreme Court New York City handgun law challenge appeal

The Trump administration, through the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), has filed a brief in support of the plaintiffs. The DOJ argues that the New York City regulation is unconstitutional, because the “transport ban infringes the right to keep and bear arms guaranteed by the Second and Fourteenth Amendments.” The DOJ’s brief states the Second Amendment does not end at the property line of one’s own home.

“The Second Amendment guarantees both the right to ‘keep’ and the right to ‘bear’ firearms”, the brief states. “Read naturally, the right to ‘bear’ firearms includes the right to transport firearms outside the home; otherwise, the right to ‘bear’ would add nothing to the right to ‘keep’.”

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July 27th, 2017

Firearms Carry Right Recognized in District of Columbia Case

U.S. Court of Appeals Second Amendment Wrenn vs. District Columbia
Federal Courthouse in Washington, DC. Photo by AgnosticPreachersKid under CC 3.0 license.

Story based on report by Second Amendment Foundation.
This week, the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) won a precedent-setting victory against “good reason” requirements for concealed carry in our Nation’s capital when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia issued a permanent injunction against enforcement of such a requirement in the District. This order was issued in the consolidated cases of Wrenn v. District of Columbia and Grace v. District of Columbia.

According to the ABA Journal: “The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled 2-1 on Tuesday that the restriction violates the Second Amendment because it amounts to a total ban on the right to carry a gun for most residents.” The 2-1 decision, written by Judge Thomas Beall Griffith, stated:

“At the Second Amendment’s core lies the right of responsible citizens to carry firearms for personal self-defense beyond the home, subject to longstanding restrictions… The District’s good-reason law is necessarily a total ban on exercises of that constitutional right for most D.C. residents. That’s enough to sink this law under (the 2008 U.S. Supreme Court’s Heller ruling).” Griffith added, in no uncertain terms: “The Second Amendment erects some absolute barriers that no gun law may breach.”

U.S. Court of Appeals Second Amendment Wrenn vs. District Columbia“Today’s ruling contains some powerful language that affirms what we have argued for many years, that requiring a so-called ‘good cause’ to exercise a constitutionally-protect right does not pass the legal smell test,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “We’re particularly pleased that the opinion makes it clear that the Second Amendment’s core generally covers carrying in public for self-defense.”

The court went on to state in its 31-page majority opinion that the District of Columbia’s “good cause” requirement was essentially designed to prevent the exercise of the right to bear arms by most District residents. Therefore, the net effect of the requirement amounted to nothing more than a complete prohibition in direct contradiction to the 2008 Heller decision that struck down the District of Columbia’s 30-year handgun ban.

After the decision was handed down, SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb released a statement saying, “To read the majority opinion and not come away convinced that such ‘good reason’ or ‘good cause’ requirements are just clever ways to prevent honest citizens from exercising their rights is not possible. To say we are delighted with the ruling would be an understatement. We are simply more encouraged to keep fighting and winning firearms freedom one lawsuit at a time.” The Second Amendment Foundation invites donations to support future legal efforts to protect Second Amendment rights.

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September 21st, 2016

Gun Rights Policy Conference this Weekend in Tampa, Florida

gun rights policy conference florida tampa live streaming video feed gura heller

The 31st Annual Gun Rights Policy Conference (GRPC) will be held in Tampa, Florida this weekend, September 24-25, 2016. This important annual conference offers two days of panel discussions and presentations guided by leading figures in the firearms community. More than 75 speakers will cover a wide range of topics, including the upcoming November elections, state legislative activities, working with the news media, and general Second Amendment issues.

Live Streaming of Conference This Weekend
Those who can’t attend the 31st Gun Rights Policy Conference in Tampa this weekend can still “listen and learn”. The GRPC will be live streamed on the conference days – September 24 and 25, 2016. All Americans interested in Gun Rights and the Second Amendment can watch and listen anywhere there is an internet connection. Here are links for the live streams this weekend.

CLICK HERE for Saturday, Sept. 24 LIVE STREAM | CLICK HERE for Sunday, Sept. 25 LIVE STREAM.

NOTE: Be sure to check the 2016 GRPC Agenda to ensure you won’t miss the most important discussions and presentations.

Notable Conference Speakers
Among the speakers at the GRPC will be Virginia attorney Alan Gura, who argued both the 2008 Heller case and the 2010 case of McDonald v. City of Chicago before the U.S. Supreme Court. Gura will be joined by Alan Gottlieb, founder of the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF); Professor John Lott, author of The War on Guns and a Fox News.com contributor; Tom Gresham, host of nationally-syndicated Gun Talk radio; and self-defense authority Massad Ayoob.

AmmoLand Shooting Sports News will be sponsoring and hosting the LIVE VIDEO feed of the 2016 Gun Rights Policy Conference. Watch it online Sept 24 & 25th 2016.
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February 25th, 2014

U.S. Supreme Court Declines to Review Firearms Cases

U.S. Supreme Court Second Amendment Challenge young adultsThe U.S Supreme Court has declined to review two cases involving handguns and young adults in the 18 to 20 year-old age bracket. The first case, NRA v. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, challenged a 1968 law which prohibits FFLs from selling handguns to any person under 21 (including adults 18, 19, and 20 years of age). Arguing that the Second Amendment protects all adult citizens, Petitioners argued that restrictions should be lifted for legal adults over 18 but under 21 years of age. The other case, NRA v. McCraw, sought to over-turn various Texas laws that prevent 18 to 20 year-olds from getting a handgun carry license.

Gun-rights activists have been pressing the nation’s highest court to accept the cases. Those advocates have cited various courts’ resistance to expanding gun ownership rights following the Supreme Court’s decision in 2008 in the Heller case that there is a Constitutional right to gun ownership for self-defense and in 2010 in the McDonald case that found the right applies to state and local gun-control efforts.

Writing in the SCOTUS Blog, Lyle Denniston observes:

The Supreme Court refused on [February 24, 2014], as it has done repeatedly in recent years, to settle the issue of whether Second Amendment rights to have a gun extend beyond the home. Since the Court first ruled nearly six years ago that the Second Amendment protects a personal right to have a gun, it has issued only one further ruling — expanding that right so that it applies nationwide, to state and local gun control laws, as well as to federal laws. But, without exception, the Justices have turned aside every potential sequel, essentially leaving it to lower courts to continue to sort out variations on the right.

One thing seemed clear from the denial of review of two of the new cases, the NRA’s challenges: the Court is not, as yet, ready to stop lower courts from creating an entirely new group in society with less than full gun rights. In those cases, it was youths aged eighteen to twenty years old.

Credit G. Salazar for story tip. We welcome reader submissions.
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July 5th, 2010

Lawyer Alan Gura Talks about Landmark Supreme Court Second Amendment Cases: McDonald v. Chicago, D.C. v. Heller

In McDonald v. Chicago, the U.S. Supreme Court determined that the Second Amendment applies to State and Local goverment actions, not just to Federal laws and activities. In so ruling, the High Court established that State and municipal laws can be challenged on the grounds that they violate a citizen’s individual right to “keep and bear arms”.

This landmark decision was the focus of the July 4th edition of Gun Talk Radio, when host Tom Gresham interviewed Attorney Alan Gura, lead counsel for Otis McDonald and other plaintiffs. Gura was also the lawyer who successfully challenged the District of Columbia gun ban, in D.C. v. Heller.

If you missed the July 4th broadcast, you can still hear what Gura has to say about the Supreme Court rulings in the McDonald and Heller cases. Gun Talk Radio archives its past broadcasts. Just right click on the Podcast icon below and “Save As” to download an .mp3 file with the Alan Gura interview. This is a very thought-provoking interview. We strongly recommend you listen.

podcast guntalk
Guntalk 2010-07-04 Part A
Hour One – Guests Alan Gura, Attorney
and U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe, R-OK

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October 2nd, 2009

U.S. Supreme Court to Review Chicago Gun Case

The U.S. Supreme Court agreed on Wednesday to hear McDonald v. Chicago (08-1521), a case challenging gun control laws in the city of Chicago. When it rules on this case, the High Court can be expected to refine and expand its landmark ruling in DC v. Heller. In Heller, the Supreme Court ruled, for the first time ever, that the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution confers an individual right to “keep and bear arms”.

The key issue in McDonald v. Chicago is whether state, county, and city goverment actions can be challenged on the basis of the Second Amendment. The First Amendment and other provisions of the Bill of Rights have already been held to govern state and local laws, but this would be the first time the U.S. Supreme Court determines whether the Second Amendment applies to “state action” through the Due Process or Privileges and Immunities Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment.

U.S. Supreme Court

Legal analysts predict that the U.S. Supreme Court, under the leadership of Chief Justice John Roberts, will strike down (or modify) Chicago’s restrictive gun laws, holding that the Second Amendment applies to state and municipal laws under the Incorporation Doctine.

In the Newsweek.com Blog, Howard Fineman writes: “Now the court will take up the appeal of a case of a handgun ban in Chicago to clear things up [following DC v. Heller]. Expect another sweeping smackdown…. What that means in the case of guns is a full-scale legal assault on, and sweeping away of, many if not most existing regulations on their sale and possession of handguns, pistols, and rifles, at least initially. If the court decrees the use of the standard method of assessing limits on fundamental rights, it will require states and localities to show a ‘compelling state interest’ for the regulation they seek, and a narrowly, carefully-tailored statute to address it. It’s what the lawyers call ‘strict scrutiny’─and it will kill off laws by the score, at least at first.”

We think that Fineman exaggerates the potential effect of a pro-gun ruling in the McDonald v. Chicago case, but we certainly hope that a ‘strict scrutiny’ standard is established. That the High Court will impose ‘strict scrutiny’ is by no means certain, however.

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September 15th, 2009

Gun Rights Policy Conference Next Week

The 24th annual Gun Rights Policy Conference (GRPC) will be held Sept. 25-27 in St. Louis, Missouri. More than 50 speakers, including such notables as Rep. Ron Paul, John Lott, Wayne LaPierre, Alan Gura, and Michael Reagan, will address those in attendance.

Hot topics this year will include: city gun bans, youth violence, “smart” guns, concealed carry, federal legislation, legal actions, gun show regulation, state and local activity. Conference organizers will also preview important upcoming court cases and revisit the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision in DC v. Heller.

Gun Rights Policy Conference

To learn more about the event or to register online, CLICK THIS LINK and scroll down to mid-page. You can also return a registration form by mail (form below).

CLICK HERE for 2009 GRPC Conference Flyer and Registration Form (.pdf file).

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March 19th, 2008

Supreme Court Appears to Favor Individual Rights View of Second Amendment

Yesterday the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral auguments in the landmark D.C. v. Heller case. It appeared, based on the questions posed by the Justices, that the High Court may strike down the D.C.’s ban on handguns. But we’ll likely have to wait until May or June for a final decision.

Head Count: It looks Like 5:4 or 6:3
Chief Justice John Roberts, Justice Alito, and Justice Scalia all seemed to favor the view that the Second Amendment confers an individual right to keep and bear arms. Roberts made his views clear right from the start, asking the District’s lawyer: “If [the Second Amendment] is limited to state militias, why would they say ‘the right of the people’?…In other words, why wouldn’t they say ‘state militias have the right to keep arms’?” Justice Thomas did not speak at the argument, but he can be expected to align with Roberts and Scalia. Justice Kennedy may be the swing vote needed to overturn the D.C. ban. Kennedy said the Second Amendment confers “a general right to bear arms quite without reference to the militia either way.” That leaves four justices who may vote the other way: Breyer, Ginsburg, Souter, and Stevens. Stevens might also vote with the majority for a 6-3 decision.

Most legal observers, including our correspondent, Robert Whitley, believe there will be at least 5 votes to overturn the D.C. ban. Whitley cautions however: “I think there will be a recognition of the individual right, and the D.C. ban will probably be invalidated, at least in its current form. But this isn’t the end of the controversy… there will be many more battles ahead. The court will likely try to decide the case narrowly, and many of the justices seem to favor some kind of ‘reasonableness’ test for gun laws that will only lead to more legal challenges in the months and years ahead.”

Richard Heller, the Man in the Middle
After the oral arguments, Robert Whitley interviewed Dick Heller, the plaintiff in the historic case. Robert observed: “Heller is a normal guy, like you and me. He’s a nice guy who simply felt the D.C. gun ban was wrong.” Heller lives in a small apartment in the heart of the District. One day, observing a bullet hole in the frame of his front door, he decided he wanted to keep a handgun to protect himself.

Heller works as a security guard in a Federal building. Heller told Whitley: “To me, the case is simple. I go to work, and I’m told to carry a gun to protect Federal employees. Yet when I go home, the District of Columbia says the value of my own life is not worth protecting. That’s just wrong.”

Jim Shepard, covering the case for The Outdoor Wire, recorded a remarkable exchange between Heller and reporters:

“… A reporter interjected: ‘the Mayor (DC Mayor Adrian M. Fenty) says the handgun ban and his initiatives have significantly lowered violent crime in the District. How do you answer that, Mr. Heller?”

The initial answer certainly wasn’t expected – Dick Heller laughed. Ruefully.

Pointing at the Mayor who was making his way across the plaza, surrounded by at least six DC police officers, Heller said, ‘the Mayor doesn’t know what he’s talking about.’

‘He doesn’t walk on the street like an average citizen. Look at him; he travels with an army of police officers as bodyguards – to keep him safe. But he says that I don’t have the right to be a force of one to protect myself. Does he look like he thinks the streets are safe?'”

When it comes right down to it, that’s what this case is really all about — an individual citizen’s basic, fundamental right to defend himself and his home. That’s a right the founders surely intended to guarantee in adopting the Second Amendment.

CLICK HERE for NBC News Video Report

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