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 NFA over the last eight decades. Additionally, if the NFA is still justifiable under the taxing power, we have asked the Court to determine whether firearm accessories such as suppressors are protected by the Second Amendment and whether the NFA is impermissible as a tax on the exercise of a constitutional right.
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)
(Plaintiffs’) Richard Vasquez Declaration (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. The challange was filed in the federal district court for the Western District of Michigan.
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 — not as in the United States where the people are 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.
Today, we submitted comments to ATF on clarifying whether “bump fire” stocks fall within the statutory definition of “machinegun.” Our comments were filed on behalf of Gun Owners Foundation.
Today, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit held oral argument on the Kettler case. Our co-counsel in the case, Joe Miller, presented oral argument for Mr. Cox. The panel hearing the appeal consisted of Judges Hartz, Seymour and Phillips.
The oral argument my be listened to here.
Today, we filed a reply brief responding to the Government’s brief in opposition on behalf of Jeremy Kettler. Mr. Kettler was convicted in federal district court of possessing a firearm noise suppressor that was not registered to him pursuant to the National Firearms Act (“NFA”). Read our previous discussion of the case and opening brief here.
Today, our firm filed comments on behalf of Gun Owners of America, Inc. and Gun Owners Foundation, expressing opposition to the ATF’s continuing effort to require federally licensed firearms dealers (FFL’s) to report to ATF information regarding the sale of multiple rifles.
Purportedly concerned about firearms being trafficked to Mexican drug cartels, about six years ago ATF created a new requirement that all FFLs located in the four southwest border states (California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas) must report to the ATF any sale to a single person of two or more rifles within a five day period.
Today we filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court, asking that Court to review a decision of the Fourth Circuit which would strip the Second Amendment rights of Marylanders.
Bloomberg BNA carried an article discussing the brief we filed in U.S. v. Robinson on July 24, 2017.
This article in the Connecticut Law Tribune summarizes the GOA/GOF brief in the Soto v Bushmaster litigation in Connecticut.
Today, we filed a brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit as co-counsel for the defendant, Jeremy Kettler. Mr. Kettler was convicted in federal district court of possessing a firearm noise suppressor that was not registered to him pursuant to the National Firearms Act (“NFA”).
In purchasing his suppressor, Mr. Kettler had relied on the Kansas Second Amendment Protection Act which states that a firearm or firearm accessory (such as a suppressor) that is manufactured, owned, and kept entirely within the borders of Kansas is not subject to any federal law. When Mr. Kettler revealed that he purchased such a suppressor, however, agents from the Obama Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (“ATF”) swooped in to make an example of Mr. Kettler, and his co-defendant Mr. Cox.
Today, May 30, 2017, we filed an amicus brief in the Connecticut Supreme Court in support of gun manufacturers Bushmaster and Remington, who had been sued by the families of the Sandy Hook school shooting victims.
The plaintiffs in the case had brought a “negligent entrustment” claim, arguing that the AR-15 style rifle should never have been sold because it was foreseeable that it would be used in the crime. However, as we pointed out, neither the manufacturer, distributor, nor dealer did anything wrong with respect to this particular sale — the essence of a legal negligent entrustment claim. Rather, the Plaintiffs instead were making the policy argument that generally no one should ever be permitted to sell any AR-15. In other words, they were asking judges to legislate to ban AR-15 style rifles.
Today, we filed our second amicus brief in this case, in support of a petition for rehearing en banc in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. We urged the Fourth Circuit to rehear the case, because the panel decision ignored the requirements of the U.S. Constitution’s Full Faith and Credit clause. The issue involved a Maryland resident’s right to purchase and possess firearms despite the judicial removal of disability to own firearms by a Virginia court after a Virginia conviction.
Today we filed a brief in the U.S. Supreme Court in support of the petition for certiorari filed in the Peruta challenge to California concealed carry laws. Our brief, however, urged the Supreme Court to grant certiorari to review a broader issue than that sought by the petitioners, and based on a more robust understanding of the protections afforded by Second Amendment than that urged by petitioners.
Today the American Thinker published an article by Bill Olson and Larry Pratt, Executive Director Emeritus of Gun Owners of America, evaluating Judge Neil Gorsuch as a U.S. Supreme Court Justice.
Today, our firm filed comments with the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (“ATF”) in response to the ATF’s proposal to combine the federal application to be a firearms dealer (“Form 7”) with the application to be a Collector of Curios and Relics. As our comments pointed out, ATF’s proposed new combined form is an attempt to combine apples and oranges. Dealers (businesses) are nothing like collectors (private persons). The proposed form is complicated and unclear as to which sections apply to which license. Moreover, the proposed form eliminates current language which is helpful to a person knowing whether or not he needs to apply for a license. Our comments were filed on behalf of Gun Owners of America, Inc. and Gun Owners Foundation.
Today our firm filed comments on behalf of Gun Owners of America, Inc. and Gun Owners Foundation opposing the proposed changes to the Form 4473, a form ATF claims continues to be necessary, though it is not required by any federal law.
Our comments explain how the proposed additions to the Form 4473 are unnecessarily confusing and often unauthorized. The form is already complex, presenting a legal hurdle for law-abiding Americans wishing to exercise their Second Amendment right. If ATF does not eliminate the Form 4473, it should, at a minimum, seek to simplify rather than further complicate the form.
Today our firm filed comments on behalf of Gun Owners of America, Inc. and Gun Owners Foundation opposing proposed regulations issued by ATF to require not only firearms dealers, but also manufacturers and importers, to certify that secure gun storage or safety devices are maintained anywhere firearms are sold.
Our comments explain how ATF’s proposed regulations would purportedly “implement” provisions of federal law; however, the regulations would actually rewrite federal law to further the goals of ATF.
Today, we filed a brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia in support of a challenge to the D.C. Concealed Carry statute which was brought by Matthew Grace and others. Our brief argues that the District of Columbia Council based its argument on the notion of hidden exceptions to the Bill of Rights, and a flawed understanding of the difference between the restricted nature of firearms rights in England versus the unrestricted nature of firearms rights in the Colonies. Our brief also argues that it is illegitimate for the Court to engage in judicial balancing tests of any type, as they were barred by the Supreme Court in District of Columbia v. Heller. Lastly, we argued that the government does not have the authority to make predictive judgments as to who may violate the law and restrict liberties to prevent crimes that it fears may someday occur.
CNSNews.com published the third article in the U.S. Justice Foundation’s expose on the American Bar Association. This article focused on the quasi-governmental role that the ABA plays — in reviewing federal judges and in recommending changes to the Model Rules of Practice, a/k/a “ethics.”