YEAR IN REVIEW: FPC Fought Hard for Your Rights in 2020! Here’s How:

Gun News

From hard-fought lawsuits to heavy hitters joining the team, 2020 has been a busy year at Firearms Policy Coalition! Since we know the importance of studying history before planning your future, we’ve compiled an impressive list of the lawsuits, briefs, motions, and other actions taken to fortify our army and advance your constitutional rights this past year. Although 2020 was a dumpster fire of epic proportions for infringements, 2021 will no doubt test our fortitude as we continue fighting current lawsuits, keep an eye on the incoming Biden administration, and monitor our 2AHotline for government overreach and unconstitutional restrictions – always ready to hit back at as they emerge.

Before we gear up and hit the foxhole to prepare for the year ahead, find out what your support helped us achieve in 2020:

FPC, FPF Announce New Briefs Filed in Lawsuits on Calif. “Assault Rifle” Ban, New Jersey Magazine Ban, Calif. Prohibited Person Ban; PA Commonwealth Court Issues Preliminary Injunction Order Against Pennsylvania State Police

On February 4, 2020, FPC announced a number of important new court filings, including a brief in the Third Circuit Court of Appeals regarding New Jersey’s ban on firearm magazines, in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals regarding California’s ban on so-called common semi-automatic “assault rifles,” and in the Northern District of California regarding the State’s total ban on firearms applied against people who have had convictions vacated and rights restored by appropriate courts in other states. 

“The Supreme Court has consistently demonstrated that arms that are commonly owned for lawful purposes cannot be banned,” explained FPC Director of Research, Joseph Greenlee. “California prohibits many of the most popular arms in the country for self-defense, hunting, and recreational shooting—all of which are lawful purposes protected by the right. We’re hopeful that the Ninth Circuit will follow the Supreme Court’s precedents and strike down this clear violation of Californians’ right to keep and bear the arms of their choice.”

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Read more HERE.

PA Gov. Wolf Adds Firearm Retailers to List of Approved Businesses Following Emergency FPC Legal Action

On March 25, 2020, FPC responded to Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf’s addition of gun stores to the list of businesses allowed to stay open during COVID-19 coronavirus restrictions following emergency litigation filed by FPC Law and Joshua Prince of Civil Rights Defense Firm, Firearms Policy Coalition. 

On March 19, 2020 Governor Wolf released an Order, requiring the closure of all “non life-sustaining businesses.”  Included in the list of businesses to be closed were firearms retailers, as apparently Governor Wolf doesn’t consider the Constitutionally guaranteed right to keep and bear arms ‘life-sustaining’.  Firearms Policy Coalition’s Director of Legal Strategy Adam Kraut, along with well-known firearms attorney Joshua Prince, immediately challenged Gov. Wolf’s order directly at the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, invoking the Court’s King’s Bench jurisdiction.  

“We appreciate that the Governor heard the voices of Justices Wecht, Donohue, and Dougherty and will now allow gun stores to remain open and serve the public,” said Kraut. “The right and ability to protect yourself and your family, particularly in times of crisis, is the very definition of ‘life-sustaining’ and unquestionably protected by both the Second Amendment and the State’s constitution.”

Read more HERE.

New Braunfels, Texas Reverses Gun Store Closure Order After FPC Letter

On March 27, 2020, one of FPC’s great legal team members, Adam Kraut, penned a letter to Mayor Casteel of New Braunfels, Texas regarding its order requiring the closure of “non-essential” businesses. That order, in not listing gun stores as “essential,” threatened the fundamental rights of the people of New Braunfels. The right of the people to keep and bear arms necessitates that the people can acquire arms, especially in uncertain times, when the need for arms is most acute. This point was made, in no uncertain terms, in the letter sent to Mayor Casteel, when Kraut wrote that “FPC is prepared to bring legal action against you and those acting in concert with you to enforce” a policy that would limit the ability of the people of New Braunfels to acquire, keep, and bear arms.

Later that day, the City supplemented their “stay home, work safe” order. First on the list of exempted businesses were “gun sales and repairs.”

Read more HERE.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, City of Los Angeles Sued in Federal Second Amendment Lawsuit Over Gun Store and Shooting Range Shutdown Orders, Closures

On March 29, 2020, attorneys for plaintiffs in a federal civil rights lawsuit added new defendants in a revised complaint for declaratory and injunctive relief. The added defendants include Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, the City of Los Angeles, the City of Burbank, and Burbank City Manager and Director of Emergency Services, Justin Hess.

In California,” the complaint says, “individuals are required to purchase and transfer firearms and ammunition through state and federally licensed dealers in face-to-face transactions or face serious criminal penalties. Shuttering access to arms, the ammunition required to use those arms, and the ranges and education facilities that individuals need to learn how to safely and competently use arms, necessarily closes off the Constitutional right to learn about, practice with, and keep and bear those arms. By forcing duly licensed, essential businesses to close or eliminate key services for the general public, government authorities are foreclosing the only lawful means to buy, sell, and transfer firearms and ammunition available to typical, law-abiding individuals in California. Such a prohibition on the right to keep and bear arms is categorically unconstitutional.”

Read more HERE.

Bay Area Governments, Officials Sued Over Gun Store and Range Bans by Coalition of Second Amendment Groups, Individuals, Retailers Including SAF, CGF, NRA, and FPC

On March 31, 2020, attorneys for Second Amendment Foundation (SAF), California Gun Rights Foundation (CGF), California Association of Federal Firearms Licensees (CAL-FFL), National Rifle Association of America (NRA), and Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) filed a federal lawsuit challenging bans on the operation of gun stores and shooting ranges imposed by a number of Bay Area governments and government officials.

“California’s local governments cannot simply suspend the Constitution,” opens the lawsuit. “Authorities may not, by decree or otherwise, enact and/or enforce a suspension or deprivation of constitutional liberties. And they certainly may not use a public health crisis as political cover to impose bans and restrictions on rights they do not like. . . . The need for self-defense during uncertain times is precisely when Plaintiffs and Plaintiffs’ members must be able to exercise their fundamental rights to keep and bear arms.”

“These governments’ contempt for individuals’ enumerated constitutional rights reinforces the need for the courts to step in and prevent government officials from overstepping constitutional bounds,” proclaimed Adam Kraut, FPC’s Director of Legal Strategy and co-counsel on the lawsuit. “We will continue to work with our friends to bring litigation against governments that refuse to recognize the People’s inalienable right to keep and bear arms, particularly in times where it is most needed.”

Read more HERE.

Restraining Order, Injunction Sought Against Bay Area Counties, Government Officials Over Stay-Home Orders Banning Gun, Ammunition Sales

On April 10, 2020, attorneys for Second Amendment Foundation (SAF), California Gun Rights Foundation (CGF), California Association of Federal Firearms Licensees (CAL-FFL), National Rifle Association of America (NRA), and Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) filed an amended complaint and request for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction against Bay Area governments and officials that forced firearm retailers to close amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The constitution [was] intended to endure for ages to come, and consequently, to be adapted to the various crises of human affairs,” the brief in support of the plaintiffs’ motion argues. Put differently, the Constitution’s protections remain robust through peace and turmoil. A declaration of emergency does not justify the denial or destruction of a constitutionally enumerated fundamental right – not even for a limited period of time.”

Read more HERE.

Second Amendment Groups Seek Injunction Against Ventura County Ban That Shut Down Gun and Ammo Sales, Shuttered Firearm Retailers

On April 15, 2020, Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC), Second Amendment Foundation (SAF), and California Gun Rights Foundation (CGF) joined two individuals in seeking an injunction against the County of Ventura, California’s wide-ranging ban on firearm and ammunition purchases, including the forced closure of retailers and bans on travel to stores in other counties.

“The amended complaint and motion for preliminary injunction are important milestones in this important case affecting the rights of nearly one million people,” explained FPC Director of Legal Strategy, Adam Kraut. “Not only did the defendants make it a crime for individuals to go to, and operate, firearm and ammunition retailers inside of the county, they effectively locked people inside of the county by criminalizing travel to another county to purchase firearms and ammunition. Ventura’s ban is blatantly unconstitutional and we are eager for the Court to rule on our motion.”

Read more HERE.

California Attorney General Becerra Served With Pre-litigation Demand Over Unlawful Regulation Delaying Gun, Ammo Purchases

On April 14, 2020, Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) attorney and Director of Legal Policy, Matthew Larosiere, served California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, the Department of Justice, and DOJ Bureau of Firearms Chief, Brent Orick, with a pre-litigation demand letter over an unlawful regulation delaying gun and ammunition transfers.

“While your Notice—a patent expression and confession of an unlawful underground regulation and enforcement practice —gets points for creative writing, it fails as a matter of law,” the ‘cease and desist’ letter says. “If you cannot manage to run the firearm and ammunition systems the State demands it to in accordance with constitutional principles, then the State should stop requiring those programs and adding new ones.”

Read more HERE.

New Right-to-Carry Case Filed; Second Amendment Advocates Seek Injunction Against Georgia Governor Brian Kemp, Public Safety Commissioner Gary Vowell, Cherokee County, and Probate Judge Keith Wood

In a right-to-carry lawsuit brought on April 16, 2020 by Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) and Second Amendment Foundation (SAF), the advocacy organizations joined individual Lisa Walters in seeking an injunction against State of Georgia Governor Brian Kemp, Georgia Department of Public Safety Commissioner Gary Vowell, Cherokee County, and Cherokee County Probate Judge Keith Wood.

The State’s ban on carrying loaded handguns in public, and the Cherokee County defendants’ closing down their Georgia Weapons Carry License program, “are unconstitutional and violate the right to bear arms for self-defense and the privileges or immunities of citizenship,” the lawsuit said. George Code § 16-11-126 and the defendants enforcement of it, claimed the plaintiffs, “are a prior restraint upon and violate the fundamental, individual right to keep and bear arms of all persons not prohibited from acquiring and possessing firearms under federal and state laws…”

“The natural right to armed self-defense does not cease to exist when a person steps over the threshold of their home and into the outside world,” observed Adam Kraut, FPC’s Director of Legal Strategy. “By their elimination of access to Georgia Weapons Carry Licenses, Judge Keith Wood and Cherokee County have destroyed the right to carry handguns outside the home for Lisa Walters and others like her. This is not acceptable and shows the inherent and terminally unconstitutional defects of the State’s license requirements.”

Read more HERE.

Injunction Issued Against Massachusetts, Gov. Baker Order Closing Gun Stores

On May 7, 2020, United States District Court Judge Douglas P. Woodlock issued an injunction against bans on the operation of firearm and ammunition retailers imposed by Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker and others. The case was brought by individuals seeking to purchase firearms and ammunition, retailers, and advocacy organizations Second Amendment Foundation (SAF), Commonwealth Second Amendment (Comm2A), and Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC).

“We are elated that Judge Woodlock has ordered an injunction against Governor Baker and others so that law-abiding individuals can once again purchase firearms and ammunition,” said Adam Kraut, FPC’s Director of Legal Strategy. “The citizens of Massachusetts have been deprived of their right to acquire arms for defense of hearth and home for too long during a time where it is most critical.”

Read more HERE.

Sen. Blumenthal’s “Ghost Gun” Bill Would Enact Staggering New Firearms Parts Regulations

Unsurprisingly, another Australian native came to America to lecture us on gun control, this time from her platform as a columnist at the Boston Globe. In an opinion piece rife with ghost stories and misleading rhetoric, we find a laughable attempt to vilify Americans who have been home-building firearms since before shooting at King George’s redcoats.

Sen. Blumenthal’s attacks on gun owners and our rights are relentless. It is troubling that Congressional representatives see The People as the enemy and it’s humorous that they view compliance with existing laws as exploitation of a sneaky loophole. In a moment of sheer brilliance, Blumenthal told the press over a call that “ghost guns are essentially crime guns waiting for crimes to happen.” Isn’t it already illegal to commit crimes? Do we really need to make crimes more illegal to commit?

Read more HERE.

FPC Statement on Possible ATF Action to Ban More Legal Products

For years, the ATF has issued opinions and guidance, which the People of the United States have relied on to purchase legal products, including brace devices and firearms with them, to stay in compliance with the law. Our understanding is that, rather than tackling important issues and restoring Americans’ access to our fundamental rights, the ATF again may put its policy preferences above the liberty and interests of the People, our Constitution, and the rule of law. No one deserves to be imprisoned for taking the government at its word. But it is clear that the government cannot be trusted. If the ATF moves forward with yet another ban, then it will put a nail in the coffin of public trust and institutional integrity. 

When the ATF signaled its intent to commit a similar type of injustice, we stood up to point out that unelected bureaucrats “clearly lack the statutory authority to” re-define peacefully held property as criminal. We also promised to fight back and immediately sue if the government went forward with its shockingly abusive proposed rule. And, unlike the government, we kept our promise.

Read more HERE.

Bumpstock Lawsuit Moves Forward as Firearms Policy Foundation Files Motion Seeking Invalidation of ATF Final Rule

Firearms Policy Foundation (FPF) announced on June 29, 2020 that it has filed its motion for summary judgment in Guedes v. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, et al., asserting that the ATF exceeded its authority in redefining the term “machinegun”.

The brief in support of the motion argues that ATF’s Final Rule, which redefined the term “machinegun” to include bump-stock type devices, contradicts the plain reading of the statutory definition. Additionally, the brief further argues that Chevron deference is inapplicable and constitutionally infirm.

Read more HERE.

FPC, FPF Argue Secret Government Watchlist is Unconstitutional in Fourth Circuit Brief

On July 6, 2020, Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) and Firearms Policy Foundation (FPF) announced their filing of an amicus brief in the important Fourth Circuit case of Elhady v. Kable, detailing the numerous rights violations inherent in the unconstitutional Terrorism Screening Database, also known as the ‘terrorist watchlist’, including how it threatens the right to keep and bear arms.

“These secret government watchlists pose a huge threat to the fundamental rights of Americans,” explained FPC Director of Legal Policy and brief co-author Matthew Larosiere. “The government is trying to claim that being placed on such a list doesn’t harm a protected liberty interest, we explain just how wrong that is. From being harassed when traveling internationally, to being subject to delays, or even outright denied the ability to purchase a firearm.”

Read more HERE.

FPC Brief: Courts Must Treat the Second Amendment as a Real Right, Not a Second-Class Right

On July 10, 2020, Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) and Firearms Policy Foundation (FPF) announced the filing of an important amicus brief in the Third Circuit Court of Appeals case, Drummond v. Township of Robinson.

The Greater Pittsburgh Gun Club (GPGC) started offering firearms sales and training on rural land outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania over 50 years ago. For many of those decades, Robinson Township has resolved to shut the club down. In the 1990s, Robinson Township brought a nuisance action against GPGC, but the court determined that GPGC was not a nuisance. Then, Robinson Township brought a licensing action against GPGC, but failed in court again. Now, Robinson Township has enacted an ordinance forbidding GPGC from operating for-profit, or from allowing center-fire rifle shooting on the property—but only if it is operating as a gun club. The club’s owner, William Drummond, brought this action, alleging that the new ordinance violates the Second Amendment.    

“Too often people are bullied for engaging in constitutionally protected activity, so we filed this brief to explain why the court should step in and protect the exercise of Second Amendment rights,” said FPC Director of Research and brief author, Joseph Greenlee. “We are happy to help Mr. Drummond defend his rights and the rights of his clients against Robinson Township’s relentless efforts to forcibly close his gun club.”

Read more HERE.

State of Nebraska Gun Ban Based on Conviction Without a Jury Trial is Unconstitutional, FPC Supreme Court Brief Argues

On July 24, 2020, Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) and Firearms Policy Foundation (FPF) announced the filing of an important brief with the United States Supreme Court in the case of Zoie H. v. Nebraska.

Petitioner Zoie H. was a juvenile who was charged with attempted theft of property worth over $5,000. Because she was a juvenile, under Nebraska law, she was not entitled to a jury trial. But that conviction resulted in a total deprivation of her right to keep and bear arms until the age of 25—six years beyond Nebraska’s age of majority. Her petition for certiorari argues that because the right to keep and bear arms is a fundamental right, the State cannot deprive her of it without the benefit of a jury trial, and by doing so, Nebraska violated her Second and Sixth Amendment rights.

“The Supreme Court has unequivocally held that the right to keep and bear arms is a fundamental right,” said FPC’s Greenlee. “For a state to deprive someone of Second Amendment protections based on a nonviolent crime and without even a jury trial contradicts the fundamental nature of the right and violates the Constitution. We’re hopeful that the Supreme Court will take this case and hold unconstitutional Nebraska’s historically unsupported ban.”

Read more HERE.

FPC Brief: Washington State’s Ban on Semiautomatic Rifles is Unconstitutional

On July 27, 2020, Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) announced the filing of an important amicus brief in the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington, in the case of Mitchell, et al. v. Atkins, et al.

Washington State’s 2018 ballot initiative, I-1639, imposed three severe restrictions on semi-automatic rifles: (1) It prohibits adults ages 18-to-21 from purchasing a semiautomatic rifle; (2) It requires law enforcement to conduct an extensive background check and records search on all purchasers of semiautomatic rifles; and (3) It forbids in-person sales of semiautomatic rifles to non-Washington residents.

Several plaintiffs, including individuals, firearm licensees, the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF), and the National Rifle Association (NRA) filed an action in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, alleging that all three restrictions violate the Second Amendment. FPC and CCRKBA filed an amicus brief in support of the plaintiffs and their motion for summary judgment, emphasizing that Washington’s restrictions on semi-automatic rifles strike at the core of the fundamental right to keep and bear arms, and further, that Washington’s extreme ban on young adults is unprecedented.

Read more HERE.

FPC Brief: Background Checks for Ammunition Purchases Violate the Second Amendment

On August 10,2020, Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) and Firearms Policy Foundation (FPF) announced the filing of an important amicus brief in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals case, Rhode v. Becerra.

In 2016, California enacted a series of regulations on ammunition sales. Ammunition sales must now be conducted by a licensed ammunition vendor, occur face-to-face at the vendor’s California location, and be approved by the California Department of Justice. DOJ approval requires a background check on the purchaser, for every ammunition purchase. Making matters worse, the background check system denies 16% of lawful purchases due to deficiencies in the system. In the first few months of its enactment, over 100,000 lawful acquisitions were refused, and countless others were deterred by the system’s complexity. 

“If background checks are effective, why are California’s firearm background checks not enough to prevent prohibited persons from committing firearm violence?” asked FPC Director of Research and brief author, Joseph Greenlee. “If firearm background checks are ineffective, why would ammunition background checks fare better?”

Read more HERE.

Ninth Circuit Holds “Large Capacity” Firearm Magazines Protected by 2nd Amendment, Affirms District Court Ruling

On August 14, 2020, a panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed (by a 2-1 vote) a federal district court’s ruling that so-called “large capacity” magazines are protected by the Second Amendment.

FPC strongly supports this lawsuit and filed an important legal and history brief in support of the plaintiffs at the 9th Circuit. FPC’s brief argued that so-called “large-capacity” magazines are inherent components of functional firearms, that such magazines are “in common use” for lawful purposes, and are constitutionally protected.

FPC was joined by amici individual gun owners: William Wiese, Jeremiah Morris, Lance Cowley, Sherman Macaston, Clifford Flores, L.Q. Dang, Frank Federau, Alan Normandy, and Todd Nielsen, all plaintiffs in the Wiese v. Becerra magazine ban challenge.

Read more HERE.

Ninth Circuit Panel Ruling Adopts FPC/FPF Argument, Holds California Magazine Ban Unconstitutional

On August 14, 2020, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held California’s “large-capacity magazine” ban unconstitutional in Duncan v. Becerra, in which Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) and Firearms Policy Foundation (FPF) filed an important brief, authored by FPC’s Director of Research Joseph Greenlee.

The court spent several pages of its analysis considering whether the magazines are “dangerous and unusual,” an issue argued only in the FPC/FPF brief. In addition to finding that the “large-capacity magazines” are commonly used for lawful purposes, and thus necessarily not “dangerous and unusual,” the court engaged in a historical analysis, finding that “[f]irearms with greater than ten round capacities existed even before our nation’s founding, and the common use of LCMs for self-defense is apparent in our shared national history.”

“We couldn’t be more pleased that Californians will soon be able to select the arms they’re most comfortable with to defend themselves and their families,” said Joseph Greenlee, FPC’s Director of Research.

Read more HERE.

Ninth Circuit Affirms California Magazine Ban Is Unconstitutional

The State of California appealed a district court decision, which held its “large-capacity magazine” (“LCM”) ban unconstitutional. In a 2-1 decision, the Ninth Circuit affirmed the lower court’s findings and likewise held the law unconstitutional. As of the writing of this blog article, there is a partial stay of the lower court’s ruling still in effect. Unfortunately for gun-owning Californians, the stay is in relation to the part of the law which makes it a crime to possess, sell, transfer, receiver, etc., “large-capacity” magazines.

Read more HERE.

The City of Folsom is trying to steal his guns. FPC filed a brief in the gun confiscation case of Folsom v. Coleman

On August 17, 2020, FPC’s Legal team filed its response brief in the gun confiscation case of Folsom v. Coleman, where the City Police Department purports to know more about mental health than actual mental health professionals.

Imagine making a single sarcastic remark, in a moment of mundane human frustration, and as a result, being pulled over by the police, detained, and having your family’s firearm collection seized. Now imagine that after having been subjected to a mental health assessment, and it was determined that you are not a threat to yourself or anyone else – but in fact just said something regrettable in a moment of annoyance – that the local police still refuse to release your firearms collection and in fact file a petition for their forfeiture on the basis that your possession of those particular firearms poses a danger to yourself or others. Nevermind the fact that you have no criminal record and you’re not a prohibited person. Heck, you even have your concealed carry permit.

Gun rights are for everybody, even for those of us who say things in frustration that we might later regret. Despite the agreement of the doctor that assessed him and the trial court, that Mr. Coleman is not a risk to himself or others, and simply made an off the cuff remark, the City of Folsom is still refusing to give him back his property and actively fighting to keep it. That’s not how Constitutional rights work.

Read more HERE.

Not even California’s top cop and DOJ can comply with California’s insane gun control laws

Campos v. Becerra alleges that the defendants/respondents Attorney General Becerra, Bureau of Firearms Director Orick, and the California Department of Justice have violated California law and their own regulations by issuing and enforcing the new policy of delaying gun transfers. If the case is successful, the court will put a stop to the policy and practice, and allow dealers to transfer firearms at the conclusion of the waiting period unless the DOJ can specifically point to a record that indicates the purchaser or transferee is prohibited from possessing and acquiring firearms. While the case seeks for the court to issue a few types of relief, at bottom, this case is about making Attorney General Becerra — the highest law enforcement officer in the State — follow the law and his own Department’s published rules.

Over the past months, COVID-19, civil unrest, and deadly riots have spurred more Californians to purchase firearms to defend themselves and their families. Indeed, these are exactly the kind of times when people want and need to be ready to defend their lives. Gun buyers and dealers have a right to do exactly what the law says, and the State must itself follow its own laws. 

Read more HERE.

Third Circuit Upheld NJ Magazine Capacity Ban 2-1 But Trump Appointed Judge Used FPC Legal’s Amicus Brief in Dissent

The Third Circuit Court of Appeals today released a 2-1 panel decision in Association of New Jersey Rifle and Pistol Clubs, Inc., et al, v. Attorney General New Jersey, et al. affirming the district court’s judgment upholding New Jersey’s limit on ammunition magazines to a capacity of 10 rounds. Today’s Opinion determined that the 3rd Circuit had already ruled on the constitutionality of the ban on so-called large capacity magazines (LCMs) in an earlier decision, and that the court was therefore bound to follow its earlier precedent. However, there were some significant and positive developments worth taking note of. Judge Matey, who authored the dissenting opinion and was the only Judge on the panel who reached the merits of the case, agreed with FPC’s position.  This case in particular underscores how important it is to get the right judges appointed, and then provide them with the resources and insight necessary to get pro-Liberty outcomes.  

While the majority opinion did not reach the conclusion FPC advocated for, the case was not without its silver linings.  Judge Matey’s Dissent concluded that the prior panel ruling—purported by the majority to have clearly decided the constitutionality of the law—wasn’t so clear after all.  Because that prior ruling lacked some key analysis, Judge Matey wrote, this current panel should not be bound by it, and should instead be free to undertake its own review of the constitutionality of New Jersey’s LCM ban.

Judge Matey also followed several pages of FPC’s brief in summarizing the history of repeating arms, covering a period from 1640 though the present-day and citing FPC’s brief extensively in the process.

Read more HERE.

Longtime Second Amendment Advocate J. Pierce Shields Joins FPC as its National Director of Advancement

Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) announced on September 11, 2020 that Mr. J. Pierce Shields has joined the FPC Team as its National Director of Advancement. In that role, Shields will lead the organization’s new Office of Advancement, established to support and grow the organization’s liberty and freedom-focused programs, which include litigation, research, policy, grassroots, education, outreach, and others. 

“I am very excited to join the FPC Team to help build the future of Second Amendment advocacy and fight for the People,” said Shields. “My job is to make sure that gun owners have the strongest possible team in their corner, and I am confident that FPC is where I can and will do just that.”

“Through strategies like strategic, corporate, and planned giving, our Office of Advancement will enable us to expand on FPC’s already class-leading programs and build the war chest we need to create the truly free society Americans are entitled to,” Shields concluded.

Read more HERE.

FPC, FPF Sue Sumner County, Tennessee and Sheriff Over “F**K Gun Control” Decal

Plenty of gun enthusiasts have those circumstances in their lives where if they openly talk about their support for the Second Amendment, or that they like to go shooting on the weekends, it’ll cause friction.  Maybe it’s your workplace, where talking about guns “isn’t appropriate.”  Maybe it’s at your in-laws’ dinner table.  Lots of us have people in our lives who just don’t like guns — and while they may preach tolerance, they aren’t quite capable of politely tolerating your support for your fundamental rights. At work or at dinner it may be frustrating to know that you can’t express your opinion without repercussions, but when it’s the government that’s chilling your speech, that’s when you need an attorney.  

Well, it turns out the Sumner County, Tennessee Sheriff’s Office just couldn’t politely tolerate Nicholas Ennis’ choice to be an outspoken supporter of the Second Amendment. On September 21, 2020, Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) announced that attorneys for FPC, Firearms Policy Foundation, and Mr. Nicholas Ennis filed a federal lawsuit over the unconstitutional stop and citation of Ennis based on a pro-Second Amendment decal displayed on his truck, violating Mr. Ennis’ First Amendment right to free speech, and Fourth Amendment right to be free from illegal search and seizure. 

Read more HERE.

Lawsuit Challenging California “Assault Weapon” Ban Moves Forward; Federal Judge Denies California’s Motion to Dismiss

On September 23, 2020, Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) announced that Southern District of California Federal District Court Judge Roger T. Benitez has issued an order denying the State of California’s partial motion to dismiss in the case of Miller, et al. v. California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, et al., an FPC-led federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of California’s “assault weapons” ban on common semi-automatic firearms.

The order states that, regarding the issue of standing, the “Court finds Plaintiffs have standing on all claims in large part flowing from the criminal penalties they could face.” Explaining that California’s Roberti-Roos Assault Weapons Control Act of 1989 “imposes a felony criminal penalty for anyone who manufactures, distributes, imports, keeps for sale, offers for sale, or lends an ‘assault weapon’,” with “prescribed prison sentences [of] four, six, or eight years,” the Court’s order said that the “result is that any law-abiding citizen may lose his liberty, and (not ironically) his Second Amendment rights, as a result of exercising his constitutional right to keep and bear arms if the arm falls within the complicated legal definition of an ‘assault weapon.’” It went on, “If ever the existence of a state statute had a chilling effect on the exercise of a constitutional right, this is it.”

Read more HERE.

Supreme Court Should Decide Non-Violent Felons Have Second Amendment Rights, Lifetime Ban Should Be Struck Down

On October 1, 2020, Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) and Firearms Policy Foundation (FPF) announced the filing of an important brief with the United States Supreme Court in support of a Petition for Writ of Certiorari in the case of Torres v. United States. FPC’s brief contains authoritative research showing that the federal ban on firearm possession by nonviolent felons is unconstitutional and not historically supported.

Torres v. United States challenges the federal prohibition on firearm ownership by felons, as it applies to nonviolent felons. Specifically, Mr. Torres was convicted of a felony and is subject to a lifetime firearms prohibition based on a DUI offense. After the Ninth Circuit upheld this firearms ban earlier this year, Mr. Torres petitioned the Supreme Court to hear his case.

FPC and FPF filed an amicus brief in support of Mr. Torres’s petition, providing the Court with a thorough historical analysis that proves only violent people have traditionally been prohibited from possessing arms throughout American history. The federal prohibition on nonviolent criminals, like Mr. Torres, is not supported by the original understanding of the Second Amendment.

Read more HERE.

FPC Submits Pre-Litigation Request to DOJ, ATF in Q Honey Badger SBR Determination Matter to Protect Gun Owners

Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) submitted a formal request to U.S. Attorney General William Barr, the U.S. Department of Justice, Acting Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) Regina Lombardo, and ATF Deputy Director Marvin Richardson seeking reversal of the agency’s latest action against the Q, LLC’s (Q) Honey Badger Pistol.

In FPC’s letter, attorney and FPC Director of Legal Strategy Adam Kraut recounted that ATF previously had approved a brace that “for all material purposes, is identical to the one affixed to the Honey Badger.” The letter went on to say that “ATF’s prior determination held that if an end user opted to utilize the product outside the bounds of the original intent, it was they who purportedly made an SBR, not the original manufacturer of the firearm.”

FPC’s correspondence states that nowhere in ATF’s ‘“mini-rulemaking” cease and desist demand does the agency explain the Firearm and Ammunition Technology Division (FATD)’s rationale as to why it believes the firearm is “designed and intended to be fired from the shoulder.” In fact, FPC’s request explains, the ATF’s letter “is silent as to anything other than a bare assertion akin to ‘it is true because we say so’. Such flimsy reasoning cannot support the expansive and dangerous new policy that is apparently now being enforced against Q and by extension, Honey Badger owners.”

Read more HERE.

FPC & FPF: Tenth Circuit Should Protect Due Process and Enforce Separation of Powers by Applying Rule of Lenity in Bump Stock Appeal

On October 13, 2020, Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) and Firearms Policy Foundation (FPF) announced the filing of an important legal brief in Aposhian v. Barr, a bump-stock ban case on appeal to the en banc Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals. The Aposhian brief was authored by FPC Director of Research Joseph Greenlee, and co-authored by George Mocsary, a law professor at the University of Wyoming College of Law, and Erik Jaffe, an expert in appellate and Supreme Court practice focusing on constitutional law from the Washington, D.C. boutique firm Schaerr | Jaffe LLP.

After consistently issuing letter rulings declaring that bump-stocks are not machineguns, the ATF backtracked and declared that “bump-stock type” devices were machine guns in a Final Rule issued on December 26, 2018. Consequently, the ATF ordered Mr. Aposhian to destroy his bump-stock device by March 26, 2019, or face up to 10 years imprisonment. Mr. Aposhian challenged the ATF’s Final Rule, alleging that Congress—not an administrative agency—should define criminal laws, and that, if Congress’s definition of the term “machine gun” was vague, the rule of lenity (which requires that a court interpret an ambiguous law in favor of the defendant) should apply rather than Chevron deference (which grants deference to an agency’s interpretation of a law).

“The rule of lenity is a deeply rooted constitutional principle that ensures legislatures define criminal laws, and that the people have a fair warning of what conduct is prohibited,” said FPC’s Greenlee. “By contrast, the application of Chevron deference in the criminal context would violate several constitutional safeguards. We are cautiously optimistic that the Tenth Circuit will agree that lenity is more appropriate in this case.”

Read more HERE.

FPC Continues Fight for 2A Rights of Young Adults in New Federal Lawsuit Challenging Pennsylvania Carry Ban

On October 16, 2020, Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) announced the filing of a new federal Second Amendment lawsuit challenging the State of Pennsylvania’s laws that prevent young adults under age 21 from carrying a loaded firearm outside of the home for self-defense.

Pennsylvania’s statutory scheme, enforced by Defendant Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) Commissioner Colonel Robert Evanchick, prohibits law-abiding young adults from carrying a firearm for self-defense and prevents them from acquiring a Pennsylvania License to Carry Firearms (LTCF) because of their age. Evanchick’s enforcement of the State’s laws generally prohibits law-abiding young adults from transporting firearms, in the absence of an LTCF. And, pursuant to State law, because Pennsylvania has been under a State of Emergency since January 10, 2018, all individuals must have a valid LTCF to carry or transport firearms on public streets and property, including for purposes of self-defense and other otherwise-lawful purposes, in violation of the right to keep and bear arms.

“The text of the Second Amendment makes clear that the right to bear arms ‘shall not be infringed,’ and nothing in America’s history or tradition supports Pennsylvania’s laws banning carry by young adults,” explained Adam Kraut, FPC’s Director of Legal Strategy and co-counsel for the plaintiffs. “Pennsylvania’s statutory scheme unconstitutionally and impermissibly denies young adults their fundamental, individual right to bear arms outside the home. Through this case, we seek to vindicate our clients’ rights and restore individual liberty for millions of young adults.”

Read more HERE.

FPC Congratulates Justice Amy Coney Barrett

On October 26, 2020, Firearms Policy Coalition congratulated Justice Amy Coney Barrett on her confirmation as Associate Justice to the United States Supreme Court. 

FPC thanked President Donald J. Trump for nominating Justice Barrett to succeed the late warrior, jurist, and icon, Justice Ginsburg, Senate Leader McConnell for his bold and necessary leadership throughout this process, and the 52 senators who voted to confirm Justice Barrett for their courage and fulfillment of their duty to ensure the Nation’s highest Court has principled jurists who respect the text and original public meaning of the Constitution. FPC also thanked all Americans who encouraged the Senate to confirm Justice Barrett, including through phone calls, e-mails, social media, and FPC’s Grassroots Take Action tools at SCOTUSvote.com. 

“FPC’s legal team, the largest and most impactful of its kind in the nation, is already hard at work on some of the most important Second Amendment lawsuits in the country, and is actively preparing dozens more,” said FPC President Brandon Combs. “As Justice Thomas has explained, the Second Amendment is not a second-class right. We are eager to see the Supreme Court grant certiorari in an appropriate case, reaffirm that the Constitution’s text means exactly what it says, and once more clarify that recalcitrant lower courts cannot continue to apply the interest balancing tiered scrutiny the Court expressly rejected in Heller.”

Read more HERE.

FPC, SAF, NJ2AS Challenge New Jersey Handgun Carry Ban

On November 2, 2020, Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC), Second Amendment Foundation (SAF), and New Jersey Second Amendment Society (NJ2AS) announced the filing of a new federal lawsuit challenging the State of New Jersey’s laws that prevent individuals from carrying a loaded handgun outside of the home for self-defense. This new lawsuit challenges New Jersey’s criminal statutory scheme as it relates to carrying loaded, operable handguns outside of the home without a permit as well as the State’s regulatory scheme as it relates to applications for and issuance of carry permits.

“This case is fundamentally a simple but important one,” said attorney for the plaintiffs, Raymond DiGuiseppe. “In New Jersey today, the right to carry loaded handguns in public for all lawful purposes, including self defense, is completely denied to law-abiding people, like and including our clients. But the U.S. Supreme Court has held that such bans are categorically unconstitutional. We look forward to vindicating the rights of our clients and forcing New Jersey to respect the Constitution.”

Read more HERE.

FPC and SAF Challenge New York City Handgun Carry Ban

On November 5, 2020, Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) and the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) announced the filing of a new federal Second Amendment lawsuit that seeks to make it possible for all law-abiding people to carry a loaded handgun on their person in public self-defense in and around New York City.

“Like the lawsuit against New Jersey’s carry ban we filed earlier this week, we are suing New York City over their unconstitutional ban that prevents typical, law-abiding people from carry loaded, operable handguns on their person in public places,” explained attorney Adam Kraut, FPC’s Director of Legal Strategy. “The State of New York and New York City have enacted broad criminal laws to prohibit the carry of handguns, and then set up an unconstitutional requirement for the issuance of a license to carry, thus completely foreclosing the right. This case seeks to strike down these laws and allow New Yorkers and visitors to exercise the right to bear arms as they are entitled to.”

Read more HERE.

FPC, SAF, and Louisiana Shooting Association Challenge Federal Ban on Handgun Sales to Adults Under 21

On November 6, 2020, Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC), the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF), and the Louisiana Shooting Association (LSA) announced the filing of a new federal Second and Fifth Amendment lawsuit challenging the federal ban on the sale of handguns and handgun ammunition by federal firearm licensees (FFL) to adults under 21 years of age.

In Heller, the Supreme Court held that handguns are the “quintessential self-defense weapon.” But federal statutes and regulations make it a crime for a federally licensed retailer (FFL) to transfer a handgun to adults who have not yet reached the age of twenty-one. As a result, these adults are prevented from exercising their right to keep and bear arms through the purchase of handguns and handgun ammunition for lawful purposes, including self-defense. 

“Adults over the age of eighteen have the full protection of all rights under the Constitution,” said attorney Adam Kraut, FPC’s Director of Legal Strategy. “But the federal government’s ban singles out their Second Amendment rights for especially unfavorable treatment. And our nation’s history and tradition show that adults under the age of 21 not only have the same Second Amendment rights as those over the age of 21, they were often required to keep and bear arms. We look forward to striking down this unconstitutional ban and providing millions of individuals with access to their constitutional rights.”

Read more HERE.

Jenn Jacques Joins Firearms Policy Coalition Team as Director of Communications

Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) announced on November 9, 2020 that longtime liberty and Second Amendment advocate, writer, shooter, and firearms industry influencer Jenn Jacques has joined the FPC Team as its Director of Communications. 

Jacques’ impressive career spans across multiple avenues of advocacy, truth seeking, and defending freedom, from her time with Americans for Prosperity, AIM Hunting, and MTC Holsters, LLC, to serving as Editor for the 2nd Amendment/gun news site Bearing Arms where she covered Second Amendment issues, stories of defensive gun use, personal experiences exercising the right to carry, firearms training, legislation, and legal issues. She has also managed a wide variety of social media platforms and communities, advertising, and freelance content creators. Additionally, Jacques has appeared on television, radio, and podcasts to discuss her own and others’ original content.

“Sharing their commitment to fundamental rights and civil liberties, I am deeply honored to join the Firearms Policy Coalition team as Director of Communications,” said Jacques. “I look forward to working with our amazing team of patriots to actively disrupt the current, and oftentimes misleading, narrative by sharing research, providing educational content, and creating outreach programs designed to empower citizens at the local, state, and federal levels!” 

“FPC’s mission is to defend constitutional rights—especially the right to keep and bear arms—advance individual liberty, and restore freedom, period,” explained FPC President Brandon Combs. “I am confident that Jenn will be an excellent leader of our communications programs and help people become and live free. I could not be more proud and excited to have the superlative Ms. Jacques lead this incredibly important part of our FPC Team!”

Read more HERE.

Robert Romano, Creator of “2AUpdates” and the Gun Case Tracker, Joins FPC’s Communications Team

On November 10, 2020, Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) announced that Robert Romano, longtime Second Amendment activist and creator of the nation’s “Gun Case Tracker”, has joined the FPC Team. 

Mr. Romano, well-known as @2Aupdates on Twitter, will take his place in a full-time capacity as Community Communications Director for Legal at @gunpolicy on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and in other communities. Under the leadership of FPC Director of Communications Jennifer Jacques, Romano will share, discuss, and engage with members of FPC’s growing communities on important news and information, with an emphasis on FPC Law, legal issues, and culture.

“I’m looking forward to helping FPC advance its important work in the courts and continuing to update the Second Amendment community on all the news and issues affecting it,” Romano said. “Joining the FPC Team makes it possible for me to continue doing what I love and scaling that effort to make sure that all Americans can stay up to date on these critical lawsuits, briefs, bills, and more.”

Read more HERE.

FPC, SDCGO, CCRKBA, SAF Sue to Strike Down Expanded California Handgun Roster Ban Laws

On November 10, 2020, Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC), San Diego County Gun Owners (SDCGO), the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA), and the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) announced the filing of a new federal lawsuit challenging the State of California’s recently expanded handgun ban, sometimes referred to as the State’s handgun “Roster” laws.

The State of California categorically prevents law-abiding citizens from purchasing and self-building thousands of handgun models in common use for lawful purposes, including the vast majority of handguns widely available throughout the United States. And just two months ago, the State Legislature aggressively expanded the laws in a bill, AB 2847, signed by Governor Gavin Newsom in September. As part of that bill, the California Department of Justice must remove three firearms from the Roster that are not compliant with its current requirements for every single new firearm added to the Roster, thus guaranteeing that the market of handguns available to Californians will be even further restricted.

“This case is a key part of our comprehensive strategy to free California from one of the most burdensome gun control regimes in the United States,” said attorney Ray DiGuiseppe, who works with FPC on civil rights litigation throughout the country. “We look forward to restoring the right to keep and bear arms and, through this case, giving back to Californians the freedom they are constitutionally entitled to.”

Read more HERE.

FPC Sues Sacramento Sheriff Scott Jones, Sheriff’s Department for Withholding Records About Gun Confiscations, Policies

Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) announced on November 11, 2020 the filing of a new lawsuit against Sheriff Scott R. Jones and his Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department (SCSD) for violating the public’s rights to access information held by public agencies.

The lawsuit’s petition and complaint contends that Sheriff Jones and SCSD violated the California Public Records Act and the California Constitution by denying FPC’s requests for access to and copies of records about firearm confiscations and their policies, including one recent incident where the SCSD worked with the FBI in using California’s “red flag” laws, also called “Gun Violence Restraining Orders,” to seize firearms from an individual. 

“People have a right to know how the government is enforcing its laws and policies, especially in cases that involve the seizure of firearms and the suspension of fundamental, constitutionally enumerated rights,” said FPC Director of Legal Strategy Adam Kraut. “The defendants’ denial of our requests is particularly concerning in light of it being a significant matter of great public interest, and we look forward to finding out what they’re hiding from us and all Californians.”

Read more HERE.

FPC Moves to Intervene in Gun Control Lawsuit That Seeks to Compel ATF to Reinterpret Definition of “Firearm”

On November 12, 2020, Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC), Mountain States Legal Foundation (MSLF), and 80% Arms announced the filing of a motion to intervene in a lawsuit brought by the Cities of Syracuse, San Jose, Chicago, Columbia, SC, as well as Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund and Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund (Plaintiffs) against the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Acting ATF Director Regina Lombardo, the Department of Justice (DOJ), and Attorney General William Barr (Defendants) in which they challenge ATF’s classification of non-firearm objects, sometimes colloquially referred to as “80% receivers”.

“The ATF and DOJ will not adequately represent the interests of FPC and our law-abiding members and supporters across the country,” said attorney Adam Kraut, FPC’s Director of Legal Strategy. “For decades, the ATF has enforced a bright-line delineation as to when an object becomes a ‘firearm’ under the Gun Control Act. The Everytown plaintiffs in this case seek to pervert that longstanding definition, enforcement practice, and public reliance interest to comport with their warped view of what a firearm is. FPC is compelled to intervene and aggressively protect the rights and liberty of millions of Americans.”

Read more HERE.

FPC, SAF, CCRKBA and Maryland Shall Issue Sue State of Maryland Over Handgun Carry Ban

On November 13, 2020, Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC), Second Amendment Foundation (SAF), Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA), and Maryland Shall Issue (MSI) announced the filing of a new federal Second Amendment lawsuit that seeks to restore the right to bear arms by making it possible for law-abiding individuals to carry a loaded handgun on their person in public for self-defense in the state of Maryland.

The State of Maryland’s laws make it a crime for a law-abiding person to carry a loaded handgun outside of the home unless they have been issued a permit to carry a handgun. Further, State law prevents individuals from obtaining a license because of further unconstitutional requirements, such as the “good and substantial reason” requirement, among others. Just like in the Bennett and Greco cases recently filed by FPC, challenging New Jersey’s and New York City’s respective bans, Maryland’s law amounts to a total ban on carry for the average law-abiding person.

“The Second Amendment protects both the right to keep a firearm in the home and the right to carry a firearm for protection outside the home,” explained Pete Patterson of Cooper & Kirk. “Yet, the State of Maryland prohibits typical, law-abiding citizens from lawfully carrying firearms for self-defense outside of the home. This ban on carrying firearms is flatly unconstitutional, and we are bringing this suit to overturn contrary precedent in the Fourth Circuit and to secure the Second Amendment rights of the law-abiding citizens of Maryland.”

Read more HERE.

FPC Files Final Pre-Trial Brief in “Assault Weapon” Lawsuit; Case Heads to Trial in January

On November 18, 2020, Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) announced the filing of the final pre-trial brief in Miller v. Becerra, its federal Second and Fourteenth Amendment challenge to the State of California’s ban on so-called “assault weapons”.

FPC’s brief argues that the “arms and conduct proscribed by the [State’s Assault Weapons Control Act] are categorically protected under the Second and Fourteenth Amendments and the Supreme Court’s precedents.” It further argues that under the Supreme Court’s Heller decision, the ban is categorically unconstitutional, and that the laws also fail strict and intermediate scrutiny, two approaches that courts sometimes use to decide constitutional questions. It concludes by requesting that the Court issue an opinion declaring the laws and regulations at issue are unconstitutional, as well as a permanent injunction preventing Attorney General Xavier Becerra, Department of Justice Bureau of Firearms Chief Luis Lopez, and all law enforcement throughout California from enforcing those unconstitutional laws against the Plaintiffs and all law-abiding adults in the State.

“Today’s brief, as we will prove at trial, shows just how incredibly broad and unconstitutional California’s ban on so-called ‘assault weapons’ really is,” said FPC Director of Legal Strategy Adam Kraut. “States and local governments may not criminalize the exercise of the fundamental, individual right to keep and bear arms. Through this and other cases, we intend to strike down and enjoin bans on common arms across the United States so that the People may lawfully exercise their rights without fear of arrest, prosecution, and imprisonment.”

Read more HERE.

FPC Sues Philadelphia and Pennsylvania Over Unconstitutional Handgun Carry Laws and Policies

On November 20, 2020, Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) and two individuals filed a federal Second and Fourteenth Amendment lawsuit against the City of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, its Police Commissioner, Danielle Outlaw, and Pennsylvania State Police Commissioner Colonel Robert Evanchick, challenging their laws and policies that infringe law-abiding individuals’ right to bear arms in public.

“The recent shutdown of the City’s Gun Permit Unit places Philadelphians who want to carry handguns for self-defense in a particularly dangerous position,” said FPC’s Adam Kraut. “Pennsylvania law prohibits individuals from carrying a firearm in Philadelphia without a license to carry firearms. And State law also prohibits individuals from carrying firearms in public during a declared State of Emergency, which Pennsylvania has been under since Governor Wolf’s 2018 proclamation. Philadelphians who do not have a license are now being completely denied their rights on pain of severe criminal penalties. The Commonwealth’s and City’s laws and policies, and their related enforcement actions, are an unconstitutional total ban on the right to bear arms. We look forward to vindicating the rights of our clients and all who wish to carry firearms in public for self-defense.”

Read more HERE.

FPC Files Motion for Restraining Order, Injunction Against Philadelphia, Pennsylvania To Stop Enforcement of Unconstitutional Handgun Carry Ban, Policies

On November 23, 2020, Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) filed a motion for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction in a federal court case challenging the ban on handgun carry imposed by the laws and policies of Defendants City of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, its Police Commissioner, Danielle Outlaw, and Pennsylvania State Police Commissioner Colonel Robert Evanchick.

The brief in support of plaintiffs’ motion argues that the “Defendants may not both ban the carry of loaded handguns under its criminal laws and place the only exemption to those laws for typical law-abiding citizens like Plaintiffs—a [license to carry under 18 Pa.C.S. § 6109]—out of reach. One or the other must give.”

Read more HERE.

FPC Moves to Intervene in California v. ATF Gun Control Lawsuit Seeking to Compel Federal Re-Definition of “Firearm”

On November 24, 2020, Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC), Mountain States Legal Foundation (MSLF), and 80% Arms announced the filing of a motion to intervene in a lawsuit brought by California Attorney General Becerra on behalf of the State, Giffords Law Center, and two individuals that seeks, among other things, an order that ATF “conduct affirmative rulemaking regarding 80 percent receivers and frames in accordance with the GCA” and an injunction preventing the ATF “from implementing and enforcing ATF’s Classification Letters to Polymer80 (and other 80 percent receiver and frame manufacturers) and online guidance finding that 80 percent receivers and frames are not ‘firearms’ under the GCA.”

FPC also recently moved to intervene in a similar case in New York brought by the cities of Syracuse, San Jose, Chicago, Columbia, SC, as well as Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund and Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund.

Read more HERE.

FPC Sues Allegheny County, Sheriff William Mullen, and State of Pennsylvania Over Handgun Carry Laws and ACSO Firearms Division Policies, Closure

On November 28, 2020, Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) and three individuals filed a new federal Second and Fourteenth Amendment lawsuit against Allegheny County Sheriff William P. Mullen, the County of Allegheny, and Pennsylvania State Police Commissioner Colonel Robert Evanchick challenging their laws and policies that infringe law-abiding individuals’ right to bear arms in public.

“The Commonwealth’s criminal laws, and the shutdown of the Allegheny County Sheriff’s Firearms Division, among other laws, policies, and practices we challenge in this case, make it impossible for our clients to lawfully carry firearms in public, in violation of their fundamental right to bear arms,” said FPC’s Adam Kraut. “Allegheny County residents who do not have a license to carry firearms are now being completely denied their rights on pain of severe criminal penalties. We look forward to vindicating the rights of our clients and all who wish to carry firearms in public for self-defense.”

Read more HERE.

FPC Law, Nation’s Only In-House Second Amendment Litigation and Research Group, Adds Attorney Anthony Miranda to Team

On November 30, 2020, Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) announced that attorney Anthony Miranda, founder of the popular Armed Scholar channel on YouTube and other social media platforms, has joined the FPC Law team. Miranda joins FPC Law’s first and only dedicated Second Amendment legal and research program in the United States.

Miranda’s work will focus on expanding FPC’s constitutional rights litigation and providing FPC’s members with information about litigation and regulatory changes that affect individuals and others in the firearms ecosystem. 

“I am excited and honored to join the Firearms Policy Coalition team,” said Miranda. “Over the last year my focus on YouTube has been to bridge the gap between the legal world and real world. This was all done with the hope of educating the average person on important legal battles that are raging behind the scenes that will ultimately impact our right to keep and bear arms. I am so thankful that the people who supported me and the Arched Scholar channel will now directly benefit from my work as an attorney on FPC’s legal team. I want to thank all of my family, friends, and amazing followers for your support and encouragement. I am very excited to immediately get to work restoring your right to keep and bear arms, especially in states hostile to our rights.”

Read more HERE.

FPC Files Motion for Injunction, Seeks Expedited Trial in Second Amendment Lawsuit Challenging Pennsylvania’s Ban on Firearm Carry by 18-to-20-year-old Adults

On December 1, 2020, counsel for Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) filed a motion for a preliminary injunction and expedited trial on the merits in a federal court case, Lara v. Evanchick, challenging Pennsylvania’s ban on handgun carry as adults under the age of 21.

The brief, filed by Cooper & Kirk, Joshua Prince, and FPC Director of Legal Strategy Adam Kraut, argues that Pennsylvania’s laws not only criminalize the carry of loaded, operable firearms by the plaintiffs, it prevents them from acquiring a license to carry, completely foreclosing their exercise of the fundamental right to bear arms. That policy, they say, is flatly unconstitutional, foreclosed by the Second Amendment and the Supreme Court’s precedents, and must be enjoined.

“The constitution guarantees the right of all law-abiding, adult citizens to carry firearms for self-defense,” explained Pete Patterson of Cooper & Kirk. “Pennsylvania’s flat denial of this right to 18-20-year-old adults cannot be squared with this constitutional guarantee.”

Read more HERE.

FPC Files Lawsuit Challenging Maryland “Assault Weapons” Ban as Unconstitutional

On December 1, 2020, Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) announced the filing of a new federal Second Amendment lawsuit that seeks to strike down the State of Maryand’s ban on so-called “assault weapons,” arms that are constitutionally protected under the Second Amendment.

All “individuals who are legally eligible to possess and acquire firearms, have a fundamental, constitutionally guaranteed right to keep common firearms for defense of self and family and for other lawful pursuits,” the plaintiffs’ complaint says. “But the State of Maryland has criminalized the possession and transportation of common firearms by ordinary citizens, making it wholly unlawful for law-abiding citizens to exercise their fundamental right to keep and bear such arms.”

“So-called ‘assault weapons’ are some of the most commonly owned semi-automatic firearms, all of which are excellent for self-defense,” explained FPC’s Adam Kraut. “Maryland’s ban on these firearms robs its citizens of their right to choose, forcing them to purchase and use firearms that may not be what is best for them, including defending their homes and their families. All law-abiding adults have a constitutional right to purchase any of the semi-automatic firearms on the market today. Maryland’s laws are unconstitutional and we look forward to vindicating the rights of our clients and all individuals in Maryland and across the United States in this case and others.”

Read more HERE.

FPC Files Motion for Injunction Against Pennsylvania & Allegheny County Sheriff To End Handgun Carry Ban

On December 3, 2020, Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) filed a motion for a preliminary injunction in a federal lawsuit challenging the ban on firearm carry imposed by the laws and policies of Defendants Allegheny Sheriff William Mullen, County of Allegheny, Pennsylvania, and Pennsylvania State Police Commissioner Colonel Robert Evanchick.

The brief in support of plaintiffs’ motion argues that the State’s criminal ban on the carry of firearms, especially during a declared state of emergency, unconstitutionally prohibits law-abiding people from exercising their rights. Additionally, it argues that Sheriff Mullen and his Sheriff’s Office are imposing policies and practices that delay and deny access to a license necessary to lawfully exercising a fundamental right. Individually and collectively, it says, these laws and practices amount to a total ban on carry, something the Constitution and Supreme Court’s precedents do not allow.

Read more HERE.

FPC Law Files Supreme Court Cert Petition in Important 2A Case

On December 3, 2020, Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) and FPC Law announced the filing of a petition for certiorari asking the United States Supreme Court to hear the case Holloway v. Barr.

Mr. Holloway was convicted of a nonviolent misdemeanor nearly two decades ago and has been law-abiding ever since, but he is nevertheless prohibited by federal law from possessing a firearm for the rest of his life. FPC argued in the petition that the Court should hear the case because the lifelong ban violates Holloway’s Second Amendment rights, and to further clarify the field of Second Amendment law. 

The appeal is from the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, where over a strong, 37-page dissent by Judge Fisher, the panel majority upheld the ban on Holloway. The majority departed from the Supreme Court’s 2008 Heller opinion by ignoring the text of the Constitution as well as the history and tradition that informs its original public meaning. Instead, the court applied an ahistorical test that allows people to be disarmed if they lack “virtue.” The Third Circuit reversed the decision of the district court, which had ruled in Holloway’s favor.

“The Supreme Court has made clear that in evaluating Second Amendment challenges, a court must interpret the Amendment’s text in light of the history and tradition of the founding era,” Greenlee said. “At no point throughout American history, until just recently, would someone like Mr. Holloway forfeit his right to keep and bear arms. We’re optimistic that the Court will accept our case, clarify the historical scope of the right, and restore Mr. Holloway’s rights.”

Read more HERE.

FPC Fights for 2A Rights of 18- to 20-year-old Adults in Appeal Brief Filed in Challenge to California’s Age-Based Gun Ban

On December 4, 2020, attorneys David H. Thompson, Peter A. Patterson, John D. Ohlendorf, and Haley N. Proctor of the preeminent constitutional appellate firm Cooper & Kirk PLLC filed an opening brief for Firearms Policy Coalition and its members, as well as Second Amendment Foundation, in the appeal of the district court’s denial of a preliminary injunction in Jones v. Becerra, a case challenging California’s age-based ban on firearms purchases by adults under the age of 21.

“Contrary to the State of California’s policy preference, Second Amendment rights are not limited to adults over 21 years old,” explained Adam Kraut, FPC’s Director of Legal Strategy. “We do not and could not deprive these adults of First, Fourth, and Fifth Amendment rights, and the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms is no different, especially when we examine the text of the Constitution and our nation’s history and tradition.”

Read more HERE.

FPC Statement on Status of Right-To-Carry Lawsuit Against Philadelphia, Police Commissioner Outlaw, and PSP Commissioner Evanchick

On December 8, 2020, counsel for Firearms Policy Coalition and four individual Philadelphia residents attended two telephonic status conferences to discuss the pending motion for preliminary injunction in the case of Fetsurka v. Outlaw, a case challenging the ban on handgun carry imposed by the laws and policies of defendants City of Philadelphia, Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw, and Pennsylvania State Police Commissioner Colonel Robert Evanchick.

In response to FPC’s federal Second Amendment lawsuit and motion, the Philadelphia defendants purportedly reopened their Gun Permit Unit and began accepting applications electronically, one of the demands FPC made of those defendants in its motion and proposed order. FPC’s motion explicitly requested a number of orders, including one requiring the Philadelphia Defendants to provide “at least one Internet-based alternative means of accepting and processing applications for licenses to carry firearms, such as but not limited to email,” for the carry license application process. 

“We are pleased to see that this important case has already forced the City to make historically significant changes, and FPC will continue to litigate against the City in this and other cases until all law-abiding individuals can exercise their fundamental, individual right to bear arms in Philadelphia,” said FPC Director of Legal Strategy Adam Kraut.

As the Supreme Court made clear in its recent orders in the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. City of New York case, given the nature of the claims, including the prayer for damages, the case is hardly moot, and it appears far from over. FPC looks forward to vindicating the rights of these plaintiffs and restoring the Second Amendment in Philadelphia and throughout the United States.

Read more HERE.

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