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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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April 28th, 2021

Illinois Judge Rules Firearm Owner ID Law is Unconstitutional

Illinois firearms identification card unconstitutional second amendment
Image from Illinois State Police.

An Illinois state Circuit Court Judge has ruled that the Illinois law requiring a Firearm Owner Identification Card (FOID) to possess a gun in ones home violates the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

The ruling was issued in the case of Illinois v. Vivian Claudine Brown. Ms. Brown’s position was supported by the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) and Illinois State Rifle Association. According to Brown’s attorney, David Sigale, this is the second time an Illinois judge has declared the FOID Card Act to be unconstitutional. The court dismissed the charges against Brown, who had a bolt-action rifle in her home, but did not possess an FOID card.

Illinois firearms identification card unconstitutional second amendment

White County Circuit Judge T. Scott Webb was 100% clear in his ruling — the FOID requirement is unconstitutional: “It simply cannot be the case that a citizen must pay a fee in order to exercise a core individual Second Amendment right within their own home.”

In his ruling, Judge Webb observed, “If the right to bear arms and self-defense are truly core rights, there should be no burden on the citizenry to enjoy those rights, especially within the confines and privacy of their own homes.”

Illinois firearms identification card unconstitutional second amendmentSAF founder and Executive VP Alan Gottlieb noted: “The FOID card requirement in order to exercise the constitutionally enumerated right to keep and bear arms under the Second Amendment clearly goes too far in this case. For too long, Illinois has been treating this right like a regulated government privilege and that needs to stop.”

“The idea that an Illinois resident doesn’t enjoy Second Amendment rights until he or she pays a $10 fee for a FOID card is outrageous,” Gottlieb said. “Nowhere should such a mandate be allowed to stand.” This second ruling on FOID card constitutionality could clear a direct path back to the Illinois State Supreme Court, Gottlieb believes.

About the Second Amendment Foundation
The Second Amendment Foundation (www.SAF.org) is the nation’s oldest and largest tax-exempt education, research, publishing and legal action group focusing on the Constitutional right and heritage to privately own and possess firearms. Founded in 1974, The Foundation has grown to more than 650,000 members and supporters and conducts many programs to inform the public about the consequences of gun control.

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November 30th, 2020

SAF and NRA Challenge Washington Semi-Auto Gun Ban

second amendment foundation washington state initiative 1629 appeal 9th circuit

SAF, NRA File Appeal Brief in Federal Challenge of WA Gun Control Measure
Attorneys representing the Second Amendment Foundation, National Rifle Association, two Washington state gun retailers and three private citizens have filed an appeal brief with the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in their challenge of gun control Initiative 1639 (I-1639), a measure adopted two years ago in the Evergreen State. This appeal in the case of Mitchell vs. Atkins seeks to overturn I-1639’s ban on semi-auto rifle ownership for Washington citizens 18-20 years of age.

The lawsuit challenges the measure on the grounds that it violates the commerce clause by banning sales of rifles to non-residents, and that it unconstitutionally impairs the rights guaranteed by the First, Second and Fourteenth Amendments, and Article I Section 24 of the Washington State constitution by preventing the sale to otherwise qualified adults under age 21 of certain rifles.

The 45-page brief asserts that I-1639: “infringes the rights protected by the Second Amendment and enjoyed by law-abiding adults of all ages. The interstate sales ban violates the Interstate Commerce Clause”. A district court judge in Tacoma dismissed the case in August, and plaintiffs promptly filed notice of appeal with the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court in San Francisco.

The initiative prohibits young adults ages 18-20 from purchasing and owning so-called “semiautomatic assault rifles” — defined as literally ANY self-loading rifle, regardless of caliber. Tens of millions of semi-automatic rifles are in use today by law-abiding citizens of all ages for hunting, competition, predator and varmint control, recreational shooting and personal/home protection.

I-1639 Washington state

“We’re asking the Ninth Circuit to reverse a ruling by the lower federal district court, and remand this case back for further action”, said SAF founder/Executive V.P. Alan M. Gottlieb. “The constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens should never be subject to a popular vote, and we are hopeful the Appeals court agrees.”

Plaintiffs are represented by Seattle attorney Joel B. Ard and Spokane attorney David K. DeWolf. The case is known as Mitchell v. Atkins.

The Second Amendment Foundation (www.saf.org) is the nation’s oldest and largest tax-exempt education, research, publishing and legal action group focusing on the Constitutional right and heritage to privately own and possess firearms. Founded in 1974, The Foundation has grown to more than 650,000 members and supporters and conducts many programs designed to better inform the public about the consequences of gun control.

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November 16th, 2018

SAF & NRA File Lawsuit Challenging Washington Initiative 1639

lawsuit I-1639 Initiative Washington state lawsuit second amendment foundation NRA

The Second Amendment Foundation and National Rifle Association have filed a lawsuit in federal court challenging gun control Initiative 1639 in Washington State, on several grounds. The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington. In addition to SAF and NRA, plaintiffs include gun dealers and young adults in the affected age group.

The lawsuit challenges the measure on the grounds that it violates the commerce clause by banning sales of rifles to non-residents, and that it unconstitutionally impairs the rights guaranteed by the First, Second and Fourteenth Amendments, and Article I Section 24 of the Washington State constitution by preventing the sale to otherwise qualified adults under age 21 of certain rifles.

“We are also considering additional legal challenges,” SAF Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb confirmed. “We are disappointed that too many Evergreen State voters were fooled into supporting this 30-page gun control scheme, despite overwhelming law enforcement opposition. This initiative is an affront to the constitutional rights enshrined in the Second Amendment and the Washington state constitution[.]”

“We’re determined to fight this egregious measure because constitutionally-protected rights should never be subject to a popularity vote,” he stated. “The wealthy elitists behind I-1639 want to turn a right into a regulated privilege. This measure was only designed to have a chilling effect on the exercise of a constitutional right by honest citizens while having no impact at all on criminals, and we cannot let it go unchallenged.”

I-1639, over 30 pages in length, is far-reaching. This measure basically defines virtually ALL self-loading long guns as “assault rifles”. This would even include popular .22 LR rimfire rifles such as the Ruger 10/22, Marlin 60, and Remington 597. In addition, I-1639 imposes draconian gun storage requirements, imposes new taxes on gun ownership, creates a state-controlled gun registry, and mandates annual “verification” of gun owners. LEARN MORE HERE.

“The NRA is committed to restoring the Second Amendment rights of every law-abiding Washingtonian,” said Chris W. Cox, executive director of NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action. “I-1639 violates the constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens and puts people at risk. This lawsuit is the first step in the fight to ensure that Washingtonians are free to exercise their fundamental right to self-defense.”

“The NRA will fight to overturn this unconstitutional initiative. We will not sit idly by while elitist anti-gun activists attempt to deny everyday Americans their fundamental right to self-defense,” concluded Cox.

lawsuit I-1639 Initiative Washington state

The Second Amendment Foundation (www.saf.org) is the nation’s oldest and largest tax-exempt education, research, publishing and legal action group focusing on the Constitutional right and heritage to privately own and possess firearms. Founded in 1974, The Foundation has grown to more than 650,000 members and supporters and conducts many programs designed to better inform the public about the consequences of gun control.

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July 26th, 2018

Second Amendment Foundation and NRA Sue City of Seattle

NRA Second Amendment Foundation gun ammo storage law seattle washington state

Last week, the Second Amendment Foundation and National Rifle Association filed a lawsuit against the City of Seattle and Mayor Jenny Durkan over adoption of a so-called “safe storage” requirement, alleging that it violates Washington State’s 35-year-old preemption statute, and is therefore unenforceable. Also named as defendants are the Seattle Police Department and Chief Carmen Best.

State law prohibits cities, towns and counties or other municipalities from adopting gun regulations that exceed state authority. The state legislature has sole authority to adopt gun laws including, but not limited to, registration, licensing, possession, purchase, sale, acquisition, transfer, discharge and transportation of firearms.

“The City of Seattle has been trying to erode state preemption almost from the moment [the preemption law] was passed back in 1985,” recalled SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “When the city tried to ban guns from city parks facilities under former mayors Greg Nickels and Mike McGinn, SAF and NRA joined forces with other organizations to stop it, under the state preemption statute. We should not have to repeatedly remind Seattle that [it is] still part of Washington State and must obey the law.”

More Liberal Nonsense From Seattle’s Politicians
“Seattle seems to think it should be treated differently than any other local government when it comes to firearm regulation,” Gottlieb observed. “State preemption was adopted more than three decades ago to assure uniformity of gun laws from Ilwaco to the Idaho border. Seattle simply can’t break the law to adopt an ordinance as a political statement.”

NRA Second Amendment Foundation gun ammo storage law seattle washington state

“We’re delighted to once again be working with the NRA to protect Washington state law and the rights of gun owners who live in the state’s largest city,” Gottlieb concluded. Joining SAF and NRA in the lawsuit are two Seattle residents, Omar Abdul Alim and Michael Thyng, both firearm owners.

Support the SAF: You can help protect the Second Amendment by supporting the Second Amendment Foundation with an $15 Annual Membership or other monetary donation.

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July 13th, 2018

Second Amendment Foundation Sues California State DOJ

CA Gun bullet button assault rifle registration
Graphic courtesy The Daily Shooter YouTube channel.

The Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) has filed a lawsuit against the California Department of Justice and Attorney General Xavier Becerra, seeking an injunction against the agency for failing and refusing to establish a properly functioning Internet-based firearms registration system.

Joining SAF in this legal action are the Calguns Foundation, Firearms Policy Coalition, Firearms Policy Foundation and three private citizens. The lawsuit was filed in Shasta County Superior Court.

“We’re suing because California DOJ’s Firearms Application Reporting System (CFARS) broke down during the deadline week for people to register their firearms in accordance with new state laws,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “For a whole week the system was largely inaccessible. People who wanted to comply with the law simply couldn’t and now they face becoming criminals because they couldn’t do what the law requires.”

The lawsuit notes that during the week of June 25-30, which was the statutory registration deadline, the CFARS system was inaccessible and inoperable on a variety of web browsers across the state. Many users who were able to initially log in and begin the process could not finish because the system crashed, obliterating all of their work. The CFARS system was substantially underfunded and understaffed from its inception, Gottlieb noted.

“It’s like a bad version of ‘Catch-22’,” Gottlieb observed. “The government required registration by the deadline, but the online registration failed and people couldn’t register. They’re required to obey the law, but the system broke down, making it impossible to obey the law. Now these people face the possibility of being prosecuted. We simply cannot abide that kind of incompetence.”

“Attorney General Xavier Becerra seems to care about everything but the constitution, the rule of law, and law-abiding California gun owners,” said FPC President Brandon Combs. “If Becerra spent as much time doing his job as he does talking about his pet crusades against the federal government, hundreds of thousands of Californians would not be in legal jeopardy right now.”

“Predictably the state of California wants to take guns away from the law abiding. In this instance they couldn’t even build a working system to respect gun owners’ rights,” explained CGF Chairman Gene Hoffman. SAF and its partners want the court to prevent DOJ from enforcing the law to allow individual plaintiffs and other citizens in the same situation to register their legally-possessed firearms through a “reliable and functional registration system.”

CA Gun bullet button assault rifle registration

The Second Amendment Foundation (www.saf.org) is the nation’s oldest and largest tax-exempt education, research, publishing and legal action group focusing on the Constitutional right and heritage to privately own and possess firearms. Founded in 1974, The Foundation has grown to more than 650,000 members and supporters and conducts many programs designed to better inform the public about the consequences of gun control.

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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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May 1st, 2017

Lawsuit Challenges California Magazine Laws in Federal Court

California CA magazine ban law lawsuit Prop 63 Second Amendment Foundation

The Second Amendment Foundation, joined by several other groups and individuals, has filed a lawsuit in Federal District Court in California, challenging that state’s laws prohibiting the possession, use or acquisition of so-called “large capacity magazines,” calling the state’s bans on magazines “hopelessly vague and ambiguous.”

Joining SAF are the Calguns Foundation, Firearms Policy Coalition, Firearms Policy Foundation and six individuals including one retired California peace officer. The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California.

The lawsuit raises a constitutional challenge to California Penal Code § 32310, as recently amended by Senate Bill 1446 and Proposition 63, and Penal Code § 32390 (the “Large-Capacity Magazine Ban”). Collectively those laws require Californians to relinquish, forfeit, or destroy lawfully-obtained full capacity magazines. The penalties for non-compliance are severe. The lawsuit alleges that if these measures are enforced as applied, they would “individually and collectively prohibit law-abiding citizens from continuing to possess, use, or acquire lawfully-owned firearms, in common use for lawful purposes such as self-defense (inside and outside the home), competition, sport, and hunting.”

“What we see in the enactment of such laws,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb, “is continued erosion by the state of its citizens’ Constitutional rights guaranteed under the Second Amendment. When the U.S. Supreme Court incorporated the Second Amendment to the states via the 14th Amendment under the 2010 McDonald ruling, it automatically should have stopped this kind of prohibition.

“As we state in our lawsuit,” he continued, “this magazine ban fails to provide fair or even adequate notice to law-abiding gun owners of what they may do with their personal property without being subject to criminal sanctions. In effect, this ban amounts to a backdoor form of confiscation, in part, of bearable arms that are protected by the Constitution.”

“Enforcement of this ban,” Gottlieb concluded, “would immediately place thousands of law-abiding California gun owners in jeopardy of criminal liability and subjects their personal property to forfeiture, seizure and permanent confiscation, which is government taking, without due process or compensation. We cannot allow that to go unchallenged.”

The Second Amendment Foundation (www.saf.org) is the nation’s oldest and largest tax-exempt education, research, publishing and legal action group focusing on the Constitutional right and heritage to privately own and possess firearms. Founded in 1974, The Foundation has grown to more than 650,000 members and supporters and conducts many programs designed to better inform the public about the consequences of gun control.

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