Today, with Kerry Morgan, Esquire of Wyandotte, Michigan, we filed suit on behalf of gun owners against the U.S. Justice Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to challenge an unlawful action of ATF affecting Michigan gun owners. On March 3, 2020, ATF issued a determination letter that directed Michigan FFLs to refuse to accept a concealed pistol license in lieu of a NICS background check from the FBI when buying a gun. Federal law allows the use of such a license to purchase a firearm. Our complaint can be found here.
After we filed our Emergency Petition for Review last night, this morning at about 9:15 am, the Solicitor General of Virginia filed his Response in Opposition. We filed our Reply to that Opposition about 1:00 pm. The Virginia Supreme Court issued an Order denying our Petition for Review about 6:15 pm.
About 6:00 pm this evening, we filed in the Virginia Supreme Court an Emergency Petition for Review asking the Court to enjoin Governor Northam’s Executive Order banning firearms on the grounds of the Virginia Capitol, as unauthorized by law, in violation of law (Virginia Code section 44-146.15) , and unconstitutional. (See next entry.)
About noon on Wednesday, January 15, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam declared a state of emergency in Virginia and issued Executive Order 49, which temporarily bans the possession or carrying of firearms in Richmond on Lobby Day (Monday, January 20). Today, Thursday, January 16, about noon, on behalf of Gun Owners of America and Virginia Citizens Defense League, and three individuals, our firm filed a Complaint and Application in the the Circuit Court for the City of Richmond, seeking a temporary injunction against the Governor’s order. In this case, we are working with David G. Browne, Esquire of Spiro and Browne, in Richmond. A hearing was held before Judge Joi Jeter Taylor from 1:30 to 2:30 pm. Judge Taylor issued an Order denying our Application at 4:31 pm. (This led to our filing an Emergency Petition for Review in the Virginia Supreme Court about 6:00 pm (see next entry).
Tonight, approximately 3,000 people came out to support Fauquier County, Virginia adopting a Second Amendment Sanctuary Resolution. Rob Olson spoke out in favor of the resolution supported by Virginia Civilian Defense League (VCDL), but against the watered down version that had been proposed. As he advised the elected officials: “Let’s do better than this. Let’s grow a spine and adopt something that’s meaningful.” Watch the video here.
Today, Rob Olson presented oral argument before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in our continuing litigation against ATF’s bump stock regulation issued in December 2018. The issue today before the court was the correctness of District Judge Paul Maloney’s ruling denying our motion for a preliminary injunction against the regulation. This article in CourthouseNews discusses the oral argument.
John Crump of Ammoland wrote an article about Gun Owners of America obtaining from ATF its internal “Firearms Industry Operations Manual.” This manual allows FFLs to better prepare for inspections by ATF. The manual was obtained by GOA in a matter our firm handled A PDF of the manual is available here.
Today our firm filed an amicus brief in a challenge to a California law limiting the capacity of magazines to 10 rounds. We explain that the two-step test used by the lower federal courts undermines the U.S. Supreme Court decisions in Heller and McDonald. And we explain that weapons useful in military service are exactly the type of weapons covered by the Second Amendment under United States v. Miller and Heller.
Today we filed our reply brief in the Sixth Circuit challenge to the ATF bumpstock regulations brought by Gun Owners of America. The issue is the district court’s refusal to issue a preliminary injunction to stop the ATF from declaring bump stocks contraband, by classifying them as machine guns.
Today we filed our second amicus brief in the defense of a firearms manufacturer who was sued in Connecticut after the Sandy Hook shooting. Our prior brief was in the Connecticut Supreme Court. This brief supports the manufacturer’s effort to obtain review by the U.S. Supreme Court. Most of the plaintiffs’ theories were rejected by the Connecticut Supreme Court, but it allowed the case to proceed based on advertising that supposedly would have appealed to young males to conduct shootings. Our brief explains why the Connecticut Court erred in its creation of a huge exception to the federal Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, a statute designed specifically to protect firearms manufacturers and dealers from suits such as this one.
Today we filed our opening brief in the Sixth Circuit case of Gun Owners of America v. Barr — challenging the district court’s refusal to issue a preliminary injunction to stop the ATF total ban on the private ownership of bump stocks.
Today we filed our second amicus brief in support of a challenge to New York City’s near prohibition on transporting firearms. This is the first Second Amendment case that the U.S. Supreme Court has heard since Heller (2008) and McDonald (2010). Our brief details the lower courts’ open prejudice against gun rights and its disregard for the Supreme Court’s protection of Second
Today our firm filed an amicus brief involving a challenge to a Fourth Amendment violation by a social worker who strip-searched a four-year-old girl, without consent of the child or her mother, in search of tell-tale signs of child abuse. The Tenth Circuit dismissed the case, ruling that the social worker was not liable under the Supreme Court’s doctrine of qualified immunity. Our brief argues for limitations on the qualified immunity doctrine, and explains why the doctrine does not apply in this case.
Today our firm filed an emergency application for stay with the U.S. Supreme Court (directed to Justice Sotomayor, Circuit Justice for the Sixth Circuit), requesting that the Court stay the effective date of the ATF’s Final Rule banning bump stocks pending review of the case by the Sixth Circuit.
Today our firm filed a 28(j) letter with the Sixth Circuit, citing additional information in the D.C. Circuit cases of Guedes and Codrea. We point out that although the courts have issued stays in these and similar cases, the stays only apply to the specific appellants in each case, and do not grant the nationwide relief to bump stock owners being sought by Gun Owners of America, et al.
The ATF reclassification of bump stocks as machineguns will take effect on Tuesday, March 26. The federal district court in which we challenged this classification change has yet to rule on our motion for an injunction. Therefore, we were forced to file this emergency petition in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.
National Public Radio ran a story about the Trump Administration’s regulation to ban bump stocks, and the legal challenge we filed for Gun Owners of America, in which Rob Olson of our firm was interviewed.
Today, we filed a Petition for Certiorari on behalf of Jeremy Kettler, who was convicted of possessing an unregistered firearm suppressor. Our petition asks the Supreme Court to review the Tenth Circuit’s decision, and to determine whether the National Firearms Act continues to be an appropriate exercise of Congress’s taxing power due to the many changes that have been made to the
Today, our firm filed a motion for a preliminary injunction, seeking to stop the Bumpstock regulations from going into effect on March 26, as planned.
(Plaintiffs’) Motion for Preliminary Injunction (December 26, 2018)
(Plaintiffs’) Memorandum in Support of Motion for a Preliminary Injunction (December 26, 2018)
(Plaintiffs’) Party Declarations (December 26, 2018)
Today, ATF published in the Federal Register its final regulations imposing a total ban on private ownership of bumpstocks, overruling numerous prior ATF decisions. Later that same day, our firm filed a chellenge to this regulation on behalf of Gun Owners of America, Guy Owners Foundation, Virginia Citizen Defense League, and three individuals — Matt Watkins, Tim Harmsen and Rachel Malone.
Today we filed an amicus brief opposing a request for rehearing by the State of Hawaii of a Ninth Circuit decision which overturned Hawaii’s virtual ban on citizens bearing weapons. We opposed Hawaii’s argument that its laws against carrying firearms were long-standing, explaining that those laws existed when Hawaii was a monarchy where the reigning king or queen was sovereign —
Today we submitted another set of comments to ATF opposing its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking which would reverse long-standing ATF policy to determine, in violation of federal law, that a “bump fire” stock constitutes a “machinegun.” Our comments were filed on behalf of Gun Owners Foundation. Earlier, on January 18, 2018, we filed comments for GOF on the ATF’s Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking.