Heller II Amicus Brief Filed in Support of Appellants U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia

Michael Harless Firearms Law, U. S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit

On July 30, 2010, in the U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit, our firm filed the only amicus curiae brief filed in support of the challenge by appellant Dick Heller and others to portions of the D.C. Code that (i) require registration of all firearms, (ii) prohibit registration of so-called “assault weapons” and (iii) prohibit possession of so-called “high capacity” magazines.

Our brief argues that the District Court erred when it upheld the District’s laws employing “intermediate scrutiny” – a judicially created standard of review that permits laws that are “reasonably related to an important government interest.” Our brief demonstrates that the Supreme Court has rejected such “interest balancing” standards of review in both the Heller Iand McDonald cases. Instead, once a court determines that a person is part of “the people” and that the weapon is one of the “arms” protected by the Second Amendment, the amendment provides its own standard of review — “shall not be infringed.”

The brief then explained why the District has no jurisdiction to require a citizen to obtain a permit from the city to possess a firearm protected by the Second Amendment, and why the “assault weapons” and “high capacity magazines” which the District of Columbia seeks to ban are protected “arms under the Second Amendment, as provided in United States v. Miller (1939) and the Heller I decision.

Our amicus brief in Heller v. District of Columbia, U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, No. 10-7036, was filed on behalf of:
Gun Owners of America, Inc.
Gun Owners Foundation
Virginia Citizens Defense League
Maryland Shall Issue, Inc.
Gun Owners of California, Inc.
Lincoln Institute for Research and Education
Conservative Legal Defense and Education Fund

Link to brief