Supreme Court Urged to Take Up San Francisco Gun Control Case

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Firearms Policy Coalition and a dozen other civil rights groups ask the U.S. Supreme Court to weigh in on an NRA-backed lawsuit.

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The Second Amendment doesn’t protect second-class rights, and it’s time for courts to take the enumerated right to keep and bear arms at least as seriously as they do unenumerated rights like abortion.

The Firearms Policy Coalition and 12 other state and national civil rights organizations filed a brief in the United States Supreme Court today for a lawsuit challenging a San Francisco gun control ordinance.

According to the plaintiffs’ petition for review, the city’s law “requires all residents who keep handguns in their homes for self-defense to stow them away in a lock box or disable them with a trigger lock whenever they are not physically carrying them on their persons.”

In the amicus (“friend of the court”) brief filed by attorneys Bradley Benbrook and Stephen Duvernay, the gun-rights groups argue that summary reversal of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision “is warranted because [it] is plainly contrary to Heller,” a landmark 2008 ruling that held the Second Amendment protects an individual–rather than a collective–right to keep and bear arms. But the groups also argue that the Supreme Court should hear the case in order to “clarify the standard governing Second Amendment challenges, and to confirm that courts must be guided by text and history rather than judicial interest balancing.”

While some Second Amendment lawsuits have been decided based on the “text, history, and tradition” standard used in Heller and McDonald v. Chicago, a 2010 Supreme Court decision that applied the Second Amendment to states and local governments, many lower courts have since applied weaker standards that lets most gun control laws stand.

“The Ninth Circuit’s lamentable decision in Jackson shows why it is the most overturned circuit court in the nation,” said Firearms Policy Coalition President Brandon Combs. “The Supreme Court should take up this case not only to correct a clear wrong, but to stem the tide of judicial resistance in recognizing the right to keep and bear arms as fundamental Constitutional rights.”

“The Second Amendment doesn’t protect second-class rights, and it’s time for courts to take the enumerated right to keep and bear arms at least as seriously as they do unenumerated rights like abortion.”

Parties to the amicus brief (in order of appearance) are Firearms Policy Coalition; Second Amendment Foundation; The Calguns Foundation; Firearms Policy Foundation; California Association of Federal Firearms Licensees; The Madison Society; Florida Carry; Hawaii Defense Foundation; Illinois Carry; Maryland Shall Issue; Commonwealth Second Amendment; Virginia Citizens Defense League; and West Virginia Citizens Defense League.

The brief can be viewed at https://www.firearmspolicy.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/14-704-Jackson-v-SF-amicus-2015-1-15.pdf.

Espanola Jackson, et al. v. City and County of San Francisco, et al., (Supreme Court docket no. 14-704) was filed in 2009 by lawyers for 6 San Francisco residents, the National Rifle Association, and the San Francisco Veteran Police Officers Association.

Firearms Policy Coalition (http://www.firearmspolicy.org) is a nonprofit civil rights advocacy organization that serves to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States and the inalienable, fundamental, and individual right to keep and bear arms through legal efforts, direct and grassroots lobbying, education, and innovative applications of technology.

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Brandon Combs
@gunpolicy
since: 06/2012
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