Raymond Woollard, et al. v. Denis Gallagher, et al. Amicus Brief for Gun Owners Foundation, et al. in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit

Michael Harless Constitutional Law, Firearms Law, U. S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit

Today our firm filed an amicus brief in the case of Raymond Woollard, et al. v. Denis Gallagher, et al. in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in support of plaintiffs-appellees and affirmance.

This case involves a challenge to the constitutionality of the State of Maryland’s handgun permit statute and regulatory scheme. Maryland requires an applicant for a license to carry a handgun to demonstrate that he has “good and substantial reason” to carry a handgun. Plaintiff Woollard previously had been granted a handgun carry permit. Unable to produce evidence of a current threat, Woollard’s request for a renewal of the permit was denied. Woollard and an association of gun owners, Second Amendment Foundation, challenged the Maryland license requirement, arguing that the “good and substantial reason” requirement violates the Second Amendment right to “keep and bear arms.”

The district court found “Maryland’s requirement … is insufficiently tailored to the State’s interest in public safety and crime prevention” and “impermissibly infringes the right to keep and bear arms, guaranteed by the Second Amendment.” Our amicus brief urges the court of appeals to affirm the decision of the district court to overturn the Maryland statutory scheme but without reference to any judicial balancing or standard of review and based on the text of the Second Amendment.

Our amicus brief argues that Maryland provides no analysis of the text of the Second Amendment and misrepresents the applicability of English historical antecedents. Further, Maryland’s argument rests on a misleading overview of the Supreme Court’s decision in Heller. Our brief shows that the Supreme Court decisions in Heller and McDonald preclude lower courts from using judicial balancing. Heller actually requires that reviewing courts identify and apply the Second Amendment with the scope intended by the founders.

Our amicus brief was filed on behalf of:
Gun Owners Foundation (http://www.gunowners.com/)
Gun Owners of America, Inc. (www.gunowners.org)
Virginia Gun Owners Coalition (http://www.vgoc.org/)
Virginia Citizens Defense League, Inc. (http://www.vcdl.org/)
U.S. Justice Foundation (http://usjf.net/)
Conservative Legal Defense and Education Fund (www.cldef.org)

Link to brief