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July 22nd, 2021

Important Second Amendment Case Before U.S. Supreme Court

Supreme court second amendment right carry law challenge case New York pistol associationU.S. Supreme Court building, photo by Joe Ravi CC-BY-SA 3.0.

A major Second Amendment case is now before the U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS). At issue are restrictive New York State gun control laws which make it virtually impossible to carry handguns in some New York cities. This case, officially New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc. v. Bruen, could be the most important gun rights case in the last decade. With its decision, the Supreme Court could establish once and for all that there is an individual right to self-defense outside of the home.

Dave Workman, posting on Ammoland.com, explains: “The case, which was accepted for review by the high court in the upcoming term that begins in October, challenges New York’s restrictive requirement that anyone applying for a permit to carry a handgun outside the home must provide a ‘proper cause’ for wanting to carry a firearm for personal protection. This authority is all-too-often used to deny applicants their right to bear arms under the Second Amendment”. Along with the plaintiff New York State Rifle & Pistol Assn. (NYSRPA), the restrictive laws are being challenged by the Citizens Committee to Keep and Bear Arms (CCKRBA) and the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF).

“A right limited to someone’s home… is no right at all, and the court now has an opportunity to make that abundantly clear, settling an important constitutional issue once and for all.” — Alan Gottlieb, SAF

In addition to ruling on the restrictive NY laws, this case will give the High Court the opportunity to clarify Second Amendment legal precedents. It has been over a decade since the Supreme Court ruled that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to have a handgun in the home for self-defense in District of Columbia v. Heller. In 2010, the Court also ruled that the Second Amendment is a fundamental right that applies to the states in McDonald v. City of Chicago.

Case is Very Important for Second Amendment Rights
The NRA-ILA states: “It is hard to overstate how important this case is. The decision will affect the laws in many states that currently restrict carrying a firearm outside of the home. NRA-ILA is working hard to defend your constitutional rights and is prepared to argue this case in order to protect the rights of Americans everywhere.”

This could be the most important Second Amendment decision since D.C. v. Heller. The Supreme Court has not decided a major Second Amendment cast for over a decade. The make-up of the Court has changed, and this could result is a far-reaching decision that would impact multiple states.

Dave Workman explained: “It has been more than ten years since the Supreme Court hear a Second Amendment case. The court has declined to review several good gun rights cases, but that was before the SCOTUS majority shifted, with … three appointments by former President Donald Trump[.] If the court rules against New York, it will open the floodgates for similar challenges of laws in New Jersey, Maryland and … other states where citizens must provide a ‘good cause’ to exercise their constitutional rights.”

SAF Founder Alan Gottlieb stated that “so-called ‘proper cause’ requirements are routinely used to deny law-abiding citizens the ability to carrying firearms for personal protection outside their homes. Such laws are arbitrary in nature and they place an absurd level of authority in the hands of local officials and their subordinates to deny citizens their constitutional right to bear arms.”

New York NRA concealed carry supreme court case
The U.S. Supreme Court will hear NRA-backed case about New York state’s concealed carry laws.

Gottlieb added: “The Second Amendment should no longer be treated like the ugly stepchild of the Bill of Rights. Its language is clear, that the amendment protects not only the right of the individual citizen to keep arms, but to bear them, and that right extends beyond the confines of one’s home. A right limited to someone’s home is no right at all, and the court now has an opportunity to make that abundantly clear, settling an important constitutional issue once and for all.”

Two national gun rights organizations — the Second Amendment Foundation and the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms — have filed amicus briefs in support of the NYSRPA’s challenge to New York’s ultra-restrictive carry laws. You can read the text of the briefs below. For easier reading, ZOOM IN via the PLUS SYMBOL below each entry, or click the FULL PAGE icon (ARROW symbol at extreme right).

Amicus Briefs Filed by CCKRBA and SAF (Click + to Zoom)


CCRKBA SCOTUS Amicus Brief by Duncan


SAF SCOTUS Amicus Brief by Duncan

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October 16th, 2020

Supreme Court, Silencers, Contests and More on GunTalk Radio

Joe Biden Beto O'Rourke gun control AR15 AR-15 second amendment Tom Gresham Gun Talk coronavirus

There’s a good episode of Gun Talk Radio this Sunday, 10/18/2020. This week’s broadcast will cover a variety of topics. First the broadcast will focus on the importance of confirming Judge Amy Barrett as the new U.S. Supreme Court Justice. In addition, the show will explain the best way to purchase and register a silencer in compliance with all Federal laws and regulations.

This week, Tom Gresham talks with the Second Amendment Foundation’s Alan Gottlieb. They discuss what’s at stake when filling Justice Ginsburg’s seat, and what major gun rights cases SCOTUS might decide in 2021. Plus Brandon Maddox of Silencer Central discusses how his company makes it easy to get a suppressor — Silencer Central will prepare AND file the ATF paperwork for you. Call 866-TALK-GUN with your comments and questions.

This broadcast airs Sunday October 18, 2020 from 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM Eastern time on 270+ radio stations nationwide. Listen on a radio station near you or via LIVE Streaming.

Big Prizes for “Enter… If You Dare” Contest
In addition GunTalk Radio is running a great “Enter… If You Dare” contest right now. The giveaway Grand Prize winner receives a Springfield Armory XD-M Elite Optics Ready 9mm pistol, a SilencerCo compact Omega 36M modular suppressor, a Crimson Trace red dot reflex sight, AND a $400 gift certificate from Galco. Four First Prize winners will take home a $150 Galco gift certificate, plus one of four triggers from Timney Triggers. Enter now through Friday, October 30th at GunTalk.com/WIN.

Joe Biden Beto O'Rourke gun control AR15 AR-15 second amendment Tom Gresham Gun Talk coronavirus

Gun Talk Radio — Podcast Archive

If you miss the live show broadcast or Live Streaming, past broadcasts can be heard online via the GUNTALK PODCAST Site and Apple iTunes. The Gun Talk Podcast Archive has hundreds of past shows you can access via the internet. Here’s an informative podcast focusing on firearms selection for self-defense.

Gun Talk Podcast from 5/31/2020 — Security, Riots, and Gun Choices:

All Gun Talk shows are also archived as podcasts for download or online listening. Gun Talk is also available on YouTube, Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and GunTalk.com.

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March 26th, 2016

U.S. Supreme Court Confirms Broad Scope of Second Amendment

Second Amendment gun rights supreme court scotus dean weingarten massachusetts stun gun

Commentary by Dean Weingarten, Gun Watch
In an historic, but extremely short unanimous opinion, the United States Supreme Court has confirmed that the Second Amendment applies “to all instruments that constitute bearable arms,”. As this is an enormous class of nearly all weapons, the decision [could be] applied to knives and clubs, and nearly all firearms that have been sold in the United States. Nearly all types of firearms are more common than stun guns. From nbcnews.com:

“But in an unsigned opinion, the U.S. Supreme Court [on 3/21/2016] vacated that ruling. It said the Massachusetts court improperly found that Second Amendment protection applies only to weapons that were in common use at the time of the nation’s founding.”

Referring to its landmark 2008 D.C. v. Heller ruling on handguns in the home, the justices said the Second Amendment applies “to all instruments that constitute bearable arms,” even those not in existence at the time of the founding.

The unsigned opinion is very short[.] Alito writes a much longer and more forceful opinion in concurrence. It could, and should, have gone much further. None the less, it is an enormous win for Second Amendment supporters, and it extends far beyond stun guns and Massachusetts.

There is strong language in this opinion. If 200,000 stun guns in the U.S. are “common”, it is hard to believe that 5 million AR-15s and millions of other semi-automatic rifles are “unusual”.

The case lays to rest the idea that courts can simply say anything other than handguns are “uncommon” or “unusual” and are therefore exempt from Second Amendment protections. This case will be cited far into the future.

The full, unanimous decision, along with Justice Alito’s lengthy concurrence, is found via this LINK:

14-10078 Caetano v. Massachusetts (PDF)

©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included. Link to Gun Watch

(more…)

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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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October 22nd, 2013

U.S. Supreme Court Will Decide Firearms ‘Straw Purchaser’ Case

U.S. Supreme Court seal logo scotusThe U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to adjudicate a case involving a firearms purchase and subsequent resale to a family member. The case of Abramski v. United States, arises from the prosecution of Bruce James Abramski, Jr., a former Virginia police officer, for allegedly making a “straw purchase” of a Glock handgun. Abramski had lawfully purchased a Glock pistol in Virginia, then later resold the Glock to his uncle, a resident of Pennsylvania. Both purchases were conducted through FFLs, with full background checks, and both parties were legally entitled to own a handgun. Abramski arranged the sale in this fashion to take advantage of a discount available to him as a law enforcement officer.

Abramski was indicted and prosecuted for violating Federal laws against “straw purchases”, specifically making a false declaration on BATFE Form 4473, which is a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(a)(6). Abramski challenged the indictment, but the District Court ruled against him and the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the District Court’s decision. However, the Fourth Circuit acknowledged that there was a split of authority among the Circuits as to whether § 922(a)(6) applied in a case like this one, where the ultimate recipient of the firearm was lawfully entitled to buy a gun himself. The Fourth Circuit’s ruling conflicts with previous decisions by the Fifth Circuit holding that “straw purchaser” laws are NOT violated if both the original purchaser and secondary buyer are legally entitled to own a firearm. See United States v. Polk, 118 F.3d 286 (5th Cir. 1997).

U.S. Supreme Court seal logo scotusThe key issue is whether Abramski committed a crime by buying a gun, and then promptly re-selling it to another person who was legally entitled to own the firearm. The government argues that Abramski broke the law when he checked a box on Form 4473 indicating he was the “actual transferee/buyer of the firearm”.

Arguably, Abramski’s purchase and subsequent resale did not violate the intent of the law, since the Glock never ended up in the hands of a criminal (or someone who was otherwise barred from gun ownership). The John Floyd Law Firm explains this argument:

“Attorneys for Abramski sought to have the indictment dismissed on the legal premise that because Abramski and the uncle were both legally entitled to purchase a firearm, Abramski could not be a ‘straw purchaser.’ Attorneys further argued that Abramski’s ‘yes’ answer to question 11(a) on the 4473 that he was actual buyer of the Glock was never intended to be punished under the Gun Control Act of 1968 if the buyer had a legal right to purchase the weapon. The attorneys theorized that the intent of Congress in passing this Act was ‘to make it possible to keep firearms out of the hands of those not legally entitled to possess them.’

Second Amendment proponents strongly believe there is nothing wrong with a nephew purchasing a weapon he is legally entitled to purchase with the specific intent to sell it to an uncle who is also legally entitled to purchase a weapon. The Fifth Circuit says such a purchase is legal because both parties are legally entitled to purchase and possess a firearm. The Sixth and Eleventh Circuits [and now the Fourth Circuit] say these legal entitlements do not matter.”

Soon the U.S. Supreme Court will decide which interpretation of the law is correct.

CLICK LINKS Below to Read Briefs Filed in Abramski v. U.S.

Date Proceedings and Orders
Jun 21 2013 Petition for a writ of certiorari filed.
Jul 25 2013 Brief amici curiae of Steve Stockman, et al. filed.
Jul 25 2013 Brief amicus curiae of NRA Civil Rights Defense Fund filed.
Aug 26 2013 Brief of respondent United States in opposition filed.
Sep 9 2013 Reply of petitioner Bruce James Abramski, Jr. filed.
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March 2nd, 2010

After the Argument — Supreme Court Appears to Favor Extension of Second Amendment

SCOTUSLyle Denniston, reporter for the Scotus (Supreme Court of the United States) Blog, attended the oral argument in McDonald v. Chicago (Docket 08-1521) this morning. Analyzing the comments and questions of the Justices, Denniston concluded that the High Court is very likely to extend the Second Amendment to state and municipal actions, on the basis of the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment. However, the Justices were skeptical of the argument that “incorporation” of the Second Amendment was likewise mandated by the “privileges and immunities” section of the 14th Amendment.

CLICK HERE for transcript of Oral Argument
(PDF file, 77 pages, 342kb).

Denniston writes: “The Supreme Court on Tuesday seemed poised to require state and local governments to obey the Second Amendment guarantee of a personal right to a gun, but with perhaps considerable authority to regulate that right. The dominant sentiment on the Court was to extend the Amendment beyond the federal level, based on the 14th Amendment’s guarantee of “due process,” since doing so through another part of the 14th Amendment would raise too many questions about what other rights might emerge.”

During the course of the oral argument, the Justices disagreed as to the scope of the Second Amendment — whether it should be limited to a “core right” of self-defense or whether it could be applied much more broadly in future cases. The Scotus Blog explained: “The liberal wing of the Court appeared to be making a determined effort to hold the expanded Amendment in check, but even the conservatives open to applying the Second Amendment to states, counties and cities seemed ready to concede some — but perhaps fewer — limitations. The eagerly awaited oral argument in McDonald, et al., v. Chicago, et al. found all members of the Court actively involved except the usually silent Justice Clarence Thomas. And, while no one said that the issue of “incorporating” the Second Amendment into the 14th Amendment had already been decided before the argument had even begun, the clear impression was that the Court majority was at least sentimentally in favor of that, with only the dimensions of the expansion to be worked out in this case and in a strong of likely precedents coming as time went on.”

We recommend that those interested in Second Amendment issues read the full Scotus Blog Entry, which includes detailed explanations of the key arguments, and analyses of how individual justices stand on the question of how the Second Amendment should be applied to the States — i.e. whether broadly or narrowly.

CLICK HERE to read SCOTUS BLOG re McDonald v. Chicago.

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March 10th, 2009

U.S. Supreme Court Rejects NYC Lawsuit vs. Gun-Makers

U.S. Supreme CourtPutting an end to nine years of litigation, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear New York City’s request to continue a lawsuit that sought to hold firearms manufacturers responsible for the criminal misuse of firearms. Among the companies sued were Beretta USA Corp., Smith & Wesson Holding Corp., Colt’s Manufacturing Co. LLC, Sturm, Ruger & Co. and Glock GmbH.

“We are very pleased by today’s ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court to not review lower appellate court rulings that dismissed cases based on the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act,” said Steve Sanetti, president of the National Shooting Sports Foundation. “These baseless lawsuits against responsible, law-abiding companies are the type that Congress intended to prevent by passing the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act.”

The city’s lawsuit was originally filed in 2000 by Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and was continued by Mayor Michael Bloomberg. After the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act was passed by Congress in 2005, a federal judge threw out the New York lawsuit. Then in April of 2008, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld that decision, saying the new law was constitutional. New York City’s final recourse was to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, but on March 9th the High Court refused the case.

LINK to N.Y. Times Report on NYC Gun Litigation.

This report is provided by the NSSF.

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