News

Second Amendment Gun Rights ‘On Life Support’ in the Ninth Circuit After Latest Court Ruling

SAN FRANCISCO (October 16, 2017)­­­­­­ – In the wake of a recent ruling by an en banc (full court) panel of the federal 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, some civil rights advocates are declaring that the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms is “on life support” in the West. The 9th Circuit has 9 western states and 2 Pacific territories in its jurisdiction.

Last Tuesday, the court released a new decision in the case of Teixeira, et al. v. County of Alameda which held that “the Second Amendment does not independently protect a proprietor’s right to sell firearms.”

“It appears that the 9th Circuit may have finally achieved its goal of making the Second Amendment a right in-name-only,” said Brandon Combs, executive director of The Calguns Foundation. “The Supreme Court declared that the Second Amendment was not a second-class right, but lower courts are ignoring that and holding otherwise—and getting away with it.”

“If this case were about bookstores or abortion clinics, this wouldn’t even be a close call,” Combs explained. “We are cautiously optimistic that the high court will step back in and correct the direction of Second Amendment jurisprudence in the 9th Circuit very soon.”

“It’s hard to imagine the court getting this decision about gun stores more wrong,” said Donald Kilmer of San Jose, the plaintiffs’ attorney. “If there is no Second Amendment right to sell guns through a licensed firearms dealership, then the state government could effectively and simply end all access to firearms by extending the County’s ban statewide.”

“We are evaluating all options, but a petition to the Supreme Court to ask for their review [certiorari] in this case seems very likely,” Kilmer concluded.

“[This] decision perpetuates our continuing infringement on the fundamental right of gun owners enshrined in the Second Amendment….Our cases continue to slowly carve away the fundamental right to keep and bear arms,” said Circuit Judge Richard Tallman in a dissenting opinion. Tallman was appointed to the court by former president Bill Clinton in 1999.

But Judge Tallman was not alone in criticizing the majority’s holding.

Circuit Judge Clarlos Bea said in his dissent that “neither the historical evidence nor the language of Heller supports the majority’s conclusion that the Second Amendment offers no protection against regulations on the sale of firearms.”

The original 3-judge panel decision, now vacated, was authored by now-senior Circuit Judge Diarmuid O’Scannlain.

Notably, Judge O’Scannlain also penned two other significant Second Amendment panel decisions that were historically and textually-grounded, but similarly overturned by the 9th Circuit sitting en banc: Peruta v. California, a case challenging local “may-issue” concealed carry permit rules, and Nordyke v. King, a case challenging Alameda County’s ban on gun shows.

Teixeira is backed by institutional plaintiffs The Calguns Foundation, Second Amendment Foundation, and California Association of Federal Firearms Licensees.

Kilmer is also an attorney of record in the case of Silvester, et al. v. Calif. Att’y Gen’l Xavier Becerra, currently on petition for a writ of certiorari to the United States Supreme Court. That petition is requesting review of another 9th Circuit decision that flaunted the Supreme Court’s landmark Heller and McDonald rulings. In that case, the 9th Circuit reversed a trial court’s Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law about the State’s 10-Day Waiting Period Laws after full discovery and a bench trial.

The Calguns Foundation (www.calgunsfoundation.org) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that serves its members, supporters, and the public through educational, cultural, and judicial efforts to advance Second Amendment and related civil rights.

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.

California Association of Federal Firearms Licensees (www.calffl.org) is a nonprofit organization serving a diverse membership that includes firearm dealers, training professionals, shooting ranges, licensed collectors, others who participate in the firearms ecosystem, and the public through issue advocacy, regulatory input, legal efforts, and education.


BREAKING: United States Supreme Court Asked to Review Ninth Circuit Decision on California’s Waiting Period Gun Control Laws

WASHINGTON, D.C. (September 1, 2017)­­­­­­ – Today, two individuals and two Second Amendment civil rights advocacy groups filed a petition for certiorari in the case of Silvester, et al. v. California Attorney General Xavier Becerra asking the United States Supreme Court to review and overturn a wrongly-decided Ninth Circuit decision about the State of California’s 10-day waiting period laws, noted The Calguns Foundation, one of the petitioners.


SAF: D.C. Appeals Court Strikes Down 'Good Reason' CCW Law

BELLEVUE, WA – The Second Amendment Foundation today won a significant court victory against “good reason” requirements for concealed carry when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia issued a permanent injunction against enforcement of such a requirement in Washington, D.C.

The 2-1 ruling, written by Judge Thomas Beall Griffith, a 2005 George W. Bush appointee, declared that, “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).” 

“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 31-page majority opinion also said that the District’s “good cause” requirement was essentially designed to prevent the exercise of the right to bear arms by most District residents. Thus, it amounts to a complete prohibition, and that does not pass muster under the 2008 Heller ruling that struck down the District’s 30-year handgun ban. 

“The good-reason law,” Judge Griffith wrote, “is necessarily a total ban on most D.C. residents’ right to carry a gun in the face of ordinary self-defense needs…”

“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,” Gottlieb stated. “To say we are delighted with the ruling would be an understatement. We are simply more encouraged to keep fighting, winning firearms freedom one lawsuit at a time.” 

The case is Wrenn v. District of Columbia.


California DOJ Sued for Hiding “Assault Weapon” Regulations, Violating California Constitution and Public Records Act

SACRAMENTO, CA (June 30, 2017) — Today, Sacramento resident Craig DeLuz, Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC), and The Calguns Foundation (CGF) have announced a new legal action intended to ensure that the California Department of Justice (DOJ) cannot hide its proposed regulations from the public. The action was filed after DeLuz and two civil rights advocacy organizations sought access to DOJ regulations on so-called “assault weapon” firearms so that they could review them and inform the public, but were denied.

The petitioners are represented by Paul Nicholas Boylan, an attorney based in Davis specializing in records access and government transparency issues.


Injunction Sought in Lawsuit Challenging California’s Total Ban on So-Called “Large Capacity” Firearm Magazines

The plaintiffs believe that California’s confiscatory magazine ban is a taking of their property without just compensation and violates their constitutional rights. 

SACRAMENTO, CA (June 13, 2017) — Attorneys for individual gun owners and civil rights advocacy organizations filed a motion and brief seeking a temporary injunction in a federal civil rights lawsuit challenging the State of California’s ban on so-called “large-capacity” firearm magazines that hold more than 10 rounds.

The case, Wiese, et al. v. Attorney General Xavier Becerra, et al., was filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California and is supported by civil rights groups The Calguns Foundation (CGF), Second Amendment Foundation (SAF), Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC), and Firearms Policy Foundation (FPF). A copy of the lawsuit’s key filings, including the motion, can be viewed or downloaded here.