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 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.