Briefs Submitted in Challenge to San Francisco Gun Laws that May Define Contours of Second Amendment Protections

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On February 7, 2013 the NRA, the San Francisco Veteran Police Officers Association and several San Francisco resident civil rights activists, filed their opening brief in Jackson v. San Francisco in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The appeal seeks to overturn a November 2012 District Court ruling that upheld San Francisco’s draconian ordinances requiring handguns to be kept under lock and key at all times unless actually being carried, and banning the sale of common “hollow-point” self-defense ammunition. The plaintiffs are represented by the attorneys at the law firm of Michel & Associates, P.C..

This strategic Second Amendment civil rights case was filed in 2009 as one of the first “test” cases in the wake of the Supreme Court’s confirmation that the Second Amendment secures an individual, fundamental rights to arms in Heller v. District of Columbia. The Jackson case seeks to resolve many of the issues left unanswered by the Supreme Court in Heller, including the appropriate standard of review for future Second Amendment challenges, as well as the scope of the Second Amendment’s protections for ammunition and commercial transactions, among other things.

On February 14, four important amicus curiae or “friend-of-the-court” briefs were filed in support of the NRA’s efforts in the Jackson case.

Amici curiae Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence (CCJ), represented by constitutional law scholar and former Dean at Chapman University School of Law, Dr. John Eastman, and esteemed appellate litigator and former Chief Counsel for the Pacific Legal Foundation, Anthony T. (Tom) Caso. CCJ’s brief addresses the appropriate standard of review applicable to Second Amendment challenges. The brief explains that restrictions on fundamental rights are subject to the strictest judicial review, and that the fundamental right to arms is no different.

Renowned civil rights attorney Don B. Kates filed an amicus brief on behalf of Gun Owners of California (GOC) and FFLGuard. GOC is among the leading voices in California in support of Second Amendment rights. FFLGuard is the nation’s premiere compliance and legal defense program for Federal Firearms Licensees. This important brief expands upon the widespread common use of hollow-point ammunition, particularly for self-defense, and explains how the City’s policies have a disproportionate impact on law-abiding gun owners, and a discriminate impact on the underprivileged who often have the greatest need for self-defense.

Amicus curiae CRPA Foundation also submitted a brief in support of the NRA, authored by Harvard Law School graduate, accomplished firearms law attorney and author of countless articles on the subject, civil rights attorney Dan Peterson. CRPA joined forces on the brief with the Independence Institute, represented by legal scholar and prolific Second Amendment author, Professor David Kopel. This comprehensive brief addresses the various standards of review adopted by the federal courts to date. The brief explains the conflict between courts that have adopted a watered-down view of the Second Amendment with the Supreme Court’s landmark Heller and McDonald decisions.

Finally, the Law Enforcement Alliance of America (LEAA) submitted a brief authored by their long time counsel, accomplished criminal and civil rights attorney Richard Gardiner. The LEAA brief provides a valuable law enforcement perspective about the dangers posed to law-abiding citizens by the City’s policy requiring firearms be kept locked away throughout the night, when they are at greatest risk of a criminal attack.

Counsel for these amicus organizations and for the NRA now await the City’s response brief, which is due on March 7, 2013. Please support the NRA and CRPA Foundation litigation efforts in support of law abiding California gun owners to keep their firearms available for self-defense and to purchase effective self-defense ammunition.

Copies of all of the court filings in the lawsuit can be viewed at http://michellawyers.com/guncasetracker/jacksonvsf/.?

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