National Rifle Association, et al. v. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, et al. Amicus Brief for The Lincoln Institute for Research and Education, et al. in the United States Supreme Court

Michael Harless Firearms Law, U. S. Supreme Court

Today, our firm filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court, in support of a petition for certiorari filed by the National Rifle Association, challenging the federal prohibition against the purchase of firearms by 18-20 year olds.

Our brief noted that in the five years since Heller was decided, the lower courts have refused to follow the Heller framework for deciding cases based on the text and context of the Second Amendment. Instead, the courts have continued to employ judicial interest-balancing tests, an approach which the Heller Court specifically rejected.

Indeed, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, below, applied “intermediate scrutiny” to decide that the federal ban on 18-20 year olds buying firearms was a “reasonable” infringement of a right that “shall not be infringed” since members of that age group are statistically more prone to violence.

On the contrary, our brief argued, the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms protects all of “the People,” not just those the government thinks should have firearms. Second Amendment rights cannot be sacrificed on the altar of “public safety,” nor overridden by any other condition that make the currently established government feel uneasy.

Link to brief