Legal Issues

Chalk One Up for the Good Guys! Defending the Second Amendment

Second Amendment document

We get plenty of bad news when it comes to legal battles and regulations regarding our Second Amendment rights. Fortunately, there are several organizations fighting to retain our rights and reverse the efforts of over-zealous anti-gun lawmakers. This is the first installment and recaps pro Second Amendment wins and challenges from the previous month.

California Victory in Richards Carry CaseCalguns Foundation

The Second Amendment and Calguns foundations earned a significant victory when the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed and remanded the case of Richards v. Prieto, challenging the handgun carry license issuing policy of Yolo County, Calif., Sheriff Ed Prieto.

“The ruling reinforces the Second Amendment’s application to state and local governments, and will help clear the way for more California citizens to exercise their right to bear arms,” SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb said. “California officials have been put on notice that they can no longer treat the Second Amendment as a heavily regulated government privilege.”

The case was originally filed in 2009 as Sykes v. McGinness and challenged not only Yolo County’s policies but also Sacramento County’s then-restrictive practices. SAF, Calguns and two private citizens, Adam Richards and Brett Stewart, continued pursuing the case against Yolo County after Sacramento County agreed to relax its policy. Attorneys Alan Gura and Don Kilmer represent the plaintiffs.

“We are confident that the win today will stand the test of time,” Calguns Foundation Chairman Gene Hoffman said.

The Richards case was argued at the same time and to the same panel that earlier decided Peruta v. County of San Diego, a similar case challenging overly restrictive carry-license policies. Yolo County and Sheriff Prieto argued that their policies were distinguishable from those struck down in Peruta, but apparently the three-judge panel unanimously disagreed.

“The Ninth Circuit’s decision moves our Carry License Compliance Initiative forward,” CGF Executive Director Brandon Combs explained. “We’re already preparing the next phase of litigation to ensure that all law-abiding Californians can exercise their right to bear arms.”

Gottlieb noted that the battle over right-to-carry laws is far from over, but today’s Ninth Circuit decision reaffirms that court’s earlier ruling in the Peruta case and “moves the ball another step forward.”

“We will pursue Second Amendment affirmation wherever and whenever such cases are possible as SAF fights to win back gun rights one lawsuit at a time,” Gottlieb said.

(California carry license applicants may download state-standard application forms, legal information, and report unconstitutional policies or process issues at

2A FoundationSAF Petitions Supreme Court for Review of New York CCW Fee Case

SAF has filed a petition to the U.S. Supreme Court for review of its challenge to the exorbitant gun permit fees charged by the City of New York. The case is Kwong v. de Blasio.

The New York State Rifle and Pistol Association and seven private citizens joined SAF in the lawsuit, which was filed in 2011 against former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who was replaced by current Mayor Bill de Blasio. New York attorney David Jensen represents them.

The lawsuit challenges New York City’s $340 fee for a three-year handgun license, which is the highest such fee for a gun possession license in the United States. SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb noted that the fee anywhere else in the entire state of New York is $10, but the city is exempt from that law. The city’s higher fee, he said, “discourages city residents from exercising their civil rights while violating the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The fee structure discriminates against all but the wealthy and well-connected elites. This prohibitively high fee leaves average citizens defenseless due to their financial situation, but the right of self-defense and exercise of the Second Amendment should not be limited solely to those with deep pockets and fat wallets.”

The federal district court and the Second Circuit Court of Appeals both sided with the city’s argument that the higher fee is allowable to recover costs and promote public safety.

“This recurring fee constitutes a substantial burden on the exercise of a fundamental civil right,” Gottlieb said. “Nowhere in the Constitution does it condition the exercise of a civil right on the amount of money one has in the bank.”


First 5,000 Illinois CCW Permit Recipients

Congratulations to the first 5,000 recipients of Illinois concealed carry licenses, which were recently mailed by the state police.

It was a SAF case, Moore v. Madigan, that forced the Illinois Legislature to adopt a concealed carry law last year, over the objections of anti-gun Gov. Pat Quinn and others, including Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.Second Amendment

“While politicians had to be dragged kicking and screaming into compliance with the Second Amendment,” Gottlieb said, “the good citizens are rushing to enjoy their newly-restored firearms freedom. State officials said today they have received more than 50,000 permit applications. Last month, Fox News reported that concealed carry applications had outpaced the number of applications for Obamacare.

“We’re proud that our case brought about this opportunity for Illinois citizens to join millions of other Americans in the exercise of their fundamental right to keep and especially bear arms,” he continued. “If the Illinois experience has taught us anything, it is that the die-hard anti-gun politicians who opposed this new law are horribly out of touch with their constituents.”

Gottlieb said SAF will monitor the progress of this new law, with an eye on the number of permit applications being opposed by law enforcement that wind up being reviewed.

“At the rate of applications so far,” Gottlieb predicted, “we’re expecting to see up to 300,000 to 400,000 citizens apply for permits this year, which would be on par with the estimate offered a few weeks ago by the State Police. By the time that happens, we anticipate the law-abiding armed citizens of Illinois will prove that they are responsible and reliable with this most precious of civil rights.”

Gavel with American flagAttorneys General from 19 States File SCOTUS Amicus Brief in SAF Case

Attorneys general representing 19 states have signed an amicus curiae brief in SAF’s case of Drake v. Jerejian, asking U.S. Supreme Court determination of whether the Second Amendment secures the right to carry handguns outside the home for self-defense.

In their brief, written by Wyoming Attorney General Peter K. Michael, the attorneys general note, “significant splits of authority have developed in both the federal and state courts as they have tried to answer questions involving the right to keep and bear arms outside of the home.”

The case, joined by the Association of New Jersey Rifle and Pistol Clubs, also asks the high court to clarify the standard of review governing Second Amendment claims involving restrictions on the right of law-abiding adults to carry handguns outside the home. That case challenges New Jersey’s arbitrary requirement that carry permit applicants demonstrate a “justifiable need” to carry a handgun outside the home.

Colleagues in Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota and West Virginia joined Wyoming Attorney General Michael.

“It is significant that so many attorneys general decided to sign on to this important brief,” Gottlieb said. “Their legal experience and understanding of this important constitutional and civil rights issue should carry great weight with the high court.

Virginia attorney Alan Gura, who represents SAF, won both of the significant Supreme Court rulings on the Second Amendment, in 2008 and 2010. Those victories have paved the way for many successful challenges of state and local limitations firearm civil rights.

Do you know of a recent Second Amendment win? Share it with us in the comments section.


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Comments (16)

  1. I’m 61. Got my 1st .22 at age 8.

    What I don’t understand is how these idiot politicians can change, rewrite or eliminate parts of the Constitution, at their whim.

  2. Back in the 70’s, I tried to obtain a CCW permit in Los Angeles County. The law was written at that time any police chief or the county sheriff could approve a permit. I went to several LASO stations asking for an application for a permit. They wouldn’t even give me the paperwork to apply. I’m happy to hear that you guys here have held these AH’s feet to the fire and forced them to abide by the law.

  3. Just another part time American!! He won’t stand up for whats right; afraid he’ll offend someone and hurt his bottom line!! If these people really wanted to save lives they would go after the medical industry. I’ve read several articles were they kill 400,000 to 500,000 thousands people a year with their mistakes and bad or wrongly prescribed drugs!!
    Divide that by 365 and see what you get; more then everything else I would think!

  4. Someone please correct me if I am wrong. I have always thought the 2ed Amendment was not part of our Constitution for our personal self protection. I believed it to be there so we could protect our nation from the type of people that are now attempting to run our country into the ground and other threats, foreign and/or domestic. It may be time to think such thoughts.

  5. I had a deferred dismissed case in NM in 2004. After the dust settled, in Oct. 2013, I purchased a gun from Cheaper than Dirt, only to be denied the gun. Now 7 months later, I still do not have my gun and am writing appeals, motions and requesting a pardon from the NM Gov. The NM attorney General as Much as said, FU, I work for law enforcement/ government. My documents state when I finish my probation, all my rights are restored, right to vote, right to bear arms, and the right to hold public office, in writing by the NM Department of Corrections handbook, 2003. When I started checking on the issue, I found the state court first had my disposition as guilty (ten years later, 2013) I have not been able to get professional employment because of that error. I lost court cases and was told by a Northern NM judge I was a liar 3 times in court. When that case came to trial he recursed himself as the trial was based on slandering my name only. Back to the second amendment, The FBI is stating a June, 15, 2011 NM law disqualifies me from having my 2nd amendment rights. I am very frustrated that I first am being punished and my constitutional rights are being stolen by the FBI. They have all the information in writing, that states I have my 2nd Amendment rights restored by the completion of my probation, copy of the NMDC handbook, 2003. How can a law take away my rights 8 years later. More confusing, my weapons were returned after the incident, in 2004. If any professional knows how to deal with this, please speak up. I am sure there are many people out their that have similar stories and are not rich, so that cannot buy their way out of this government jungle.

  6. I have never needed a license to carry, why advertise my self protection, maybe there is a little bit of Texas in me, even though I am stuck in Southern California for the time being.

    I actually prefer my classic S&W 5-shot 38 Caliper. It is nickel plated, can’t really hit much but it works excellent.
    For long distance driving, I keep my Beretta 92F in the front seat and my Remington 870 under a blanket. It has a beautiful wood stock and an extended magazine, with a truncated 18 inch barrel. Don’t really aim very intensely, simply point.

    1. Unfortunately in Ca. if you get pulled over and searched, that can get you a lot of time. I too live in Ca., the north-central part and like you have many guns. I just don`t carry them as I have the “look” of a bad guy, I guess is the only way to put it. I am going to apply for my CCW as I am disabled and not really able to defend myself as I could when I was younger and in good health. Best of luck to you in not getting caught.

  7. If you’re an American citizen with all rights governing possession of a firearm you should be allowed to exercise your second amendment privileges to own and bear a firearm. Personal self defense is sufficient in itself to justify the privilege! If no legal reasons or health reasons in your past records should keep you from possessing a firearm you should have your second amendment rights!!

    1. The 2nd Amendment gives us the right…..not the privilege to bear arms. The gov’t is trying to sell us that it is a privilage. It is not, IT IS A RIGHT!!!!!
      The constitution does not put restrictions on this right….i.e. a permit is needed.

    2. Andy: I understand your sentiments, but I must correct you. The Second Amendment doesn’t GIVE us ANYTHING. The Right to Keep and Bear Arms has existed since man has existed.

      The Second Amendment only AFFIRMS that Right, and tells “government”: KEEP YOUR THIEVING HANDS OFF OF OUR RIGHTS AND WEAPONS!

  8. Is anything being considerer in Maryland? The MD State police are still not issuing carry permits except for those who can demonstrate a need to carry.

    1. I am wondering, how long it took all those atty generals to remove their heads from their respective butts long enough to ask a dumbass question like that? Did those idiots EVER read the 2nd amendment?

    2. Everyone everywhere who has applied for and not received a permit, and then suffers an assault subsequent to said application, should sue the MD SP and legislators for damages and punitive damages. One win anywhere would put a stop to a all this anti-self protection nonsense. If a. Applicant is killed then accessory to the crime charges should apply.

    3. Dave your logic is sound, but will probably never happen. There have been cases where the homeowner shot a very guilty home invader and was charged with illegally having the gun. (In my opinion, this is the case where the officials should be charged with a crime, such as unjust prosecution or at least rectu-cranial inversion.)

    4. I Hate to start a new arguement but I will. When someone repays thier Debt to society they should get ALL thier RIGHTS restored. Because they made a mistake or many for that matter but have proven themselves rehabilitated perhaps by 10-20 years living the life of a law abiding citizen after completing sentence including incarceration and all probation. These people should at the very least be able to keep and bear arms in thier own Home. I believe that because someone committed a felony or 2 or more(lets say all not involving a firearm) they should not lose thier RIGHT to defend themselves and thier family from being raped,kidnapped,assaulted,even murdered in thier Home forever.Some people make poor choices when young and truly rehabilitate themselves into law abiding productive members of society. I do not keep or bear arms (because it is against the law) however the way todays world is shaping up to be more dangerous by the day it seems. There are times I am truly afraid for me and my family. I am starting to think that at 50 years old I would rather be tried by 12 then be carried by 6 or worse have my wife or children become victims in the one place everyone should feel safe and secure(at the very least). Lets face it all the police will be able to do is clean up the mess if someone decides to victimize ones family. Everyone has a God given right to defend themselves and thier family against victimization. Is someone less worthy to not be raped,assaulted,or killed because they committed a felony 15 years ago? If intruders decided they wanted to kill me and my wife and daughter after making me watch them rape them I only have a knife or baseball bat to TRY and stop them. On the otherside of coin if one commits a crime of Violence WITH A GUN then give them life without parole or death penalty MANDATORY!

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