Fourth Circuit Wrongly Upholds Terrorist Screening Database Program

Gun News

RICHMOND, VA (March 31, 2021) — Yesterday, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals issued an opinion in Elhady v. Kable, which reversed the District Court’s opinion and held that the Terrorist Screening Database (TSDB) “conforms to long-settled propositions of law” and therefore does not violate the Fifth Amendment’s Due Process Clause. Last year, Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) filed a brief in this case detailing the numerous rights violations inherent in the TSDB and how it threatens the right to keep and bear arms.

In the opinion authored by Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson, a Ronald Reagan appointee who previously ruled against the Second Amendment right to bear arms, the Court held that “[t]he delays and burdens experienced by plaintiffs at the border and in airports, although regrettable, do not mandate a complete overhaul of the TSDB” but that “[i]ndividual applications of the program may run afoul of recognized legal prohibitions and thus remain subject to judicial review.”

Additionally, the court held that “[t]he experiences alleged by plaintiffs do not rise to the level of constitutional concern” and stated that “[t]he plaintiffs have not actually alleged an inability to gain employment, obtain permits or licenses, or acquire firearms.”

“We are disappointed in the Fourth Circuit’s decision in this case,” said FPC’s Director of Constitutional Studies, Joseph Greenlee. “It is alarming that Americans are being denied rights based merely on their inclusion on a secretive and demonstrably unreliable government list. FPC will continue to defend the rights of individuals against government abuse in this and other cases.”

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Firearms Policy Coalition and its FPC Law team are the nation’s next-generation advocates for the right to keep and bear arms and adjacent liberties, actively litigating dozens of major lawsuits including federal Second Amendment challenges to California’s ban on “assault weapons” (Miller v. Becerra), Maryland’s ban on “assault weapons” (Bianchi v. Frosh), California’s handgun “roster” and self-manufacturing bans (Renna v. Becerra), Maryland’s firearm carry ban (Call v. Jones), New Jersey’s firearm carry ban (Bennett v. Davis), New York City’s firearms carry ban (Greco v. New York City), the federal ban on the sale of handguns and handgun ammunition by federal firearm licensees (FFLs) to adults under 21 years of age (Reese v. BATFE), and others, with dozens more cases being prepared. To follow these and other legal cases FPC is actively working on, visit the Legal Action section of FPC’s website or follow FPC on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube.

Firearms Policy Coalition (firearmspolicy.org) is a 501(c)4 nonprofit organization. FPC’s mission is to protect and defend constitutional rights—especially the right to keep and bear arms—advance individual liberty, and restore freedom through litigation and legal action, legislative and regulatory action, education, outreach, grassroots activism, other programs. FPC Law is the nation’s largest public interest legal team focused on Second Amendment and adjacent fundamental rights including freedom of speech and due process, conducting litigation, research, scholarly publications, and amicus briefing, among other efforts.

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