FPC Files Reply Brief in Lawsuit Challenging Ventura County Gun Store Closures Caused By COVID-19 Orders

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SAN FRANCISCO (April 26, 2021) — Today, Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) announced the filing of a reply brief with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in McDougall v. County of Ventura, which challenges the County’s orders that shuttered firearm and ammunition retailers and banned travel to stores in other counties under its COVID-19 orders in 2020. The brief can be viewed at FPCLegal.org.

FPC’s brief begins by noting that “every case upholding the restrictions Defendants cite has been reversed by the Supreme Court of the United States,” and that the Court “spotlighted these cases as illustrating a troublesome pattern of jurisprudence in need of correction…” The brief also argues that “[t]he Constitution, and all the civil liberties it guarantees, maintains its teeth at all times, especially in the event of a pandemic like COVID-19,” and despite Defendants’ arguments that “the Second Amendment has never protected immediate or convenient purchase and sale of guns,” the 48-day shutdown instituted last year is “unprecedented in American history.”

“There is no justifiable reason why businesses such as shoe repair shops, bicycle repair shops, and boat repair shops could safely operate under the County’s COVID restrictions but firearms retailers could not,” said FPC’s Director of Constitutional Studies and co-counsel on the brief, Joseph Greenlee. “The County’s decision to keep firearms retailers shut down for 48 straight days reflects a lack of appreciation for the Second Amendment rights of the County’s residents rather than any expertise regarding the best approach to limiting the spread of the virus.” 

From the beginning of the closures last year, FPC and its FPC Law team worked to prevent governments from using the COVID pandemic as an excuse to infringe on your right to keep and bear arms. In addition to McDougall, FPC filed actions against the states of Massachusetts, New Mexico, and Pennsylvania, as well as other California counties, Wake County, North Carolina, the counties of Allegheny and Philadelphia in Pennsylvania, and Cherokee County, Georgia. FPC also worked to maintain the People’s access to the right to keep and bear arms during COVID through non-litigation efforts. If you would like to report violations of and/or impacts to your rights related to COVID-19 government actions, please visit our COVID-19 2A hotline

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Individuals that are interested in becoming a member of the FPC Grassroots Army can become a member for just $25 at JoinFPC.org. Firearms Policy Coalition and its FPC Law team are the nation’s next-generation advocates leading the Second Amendment litigation and research space. Some FPC legal actions include:

For more on these cases and other legal action initiatives, visit FPCLegal.org and 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, and 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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