Maryland’s May Issue Carry Permit Process Ruled Unconstitutional

The Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) and Alan Gura won another court victory, this time in Maryland:

BELLEVUE, WA – A federal court ruling in Maryland, that the Second Amendment right to bear arms extends beyond the home and that citizens may not be required to offer a “good and substantial reason” for obtaining a concealed carry permit, is a huge victory, the Second Amendment Foundation said today.

Ruling in the case of Woollard v. Sheridan – a case brought by SAF in July 2010 on behalf of Maryland resident Raymond Woollard, who was denied his carry permit renewal – the U.S. District Court for Maryland ruled that “The Court finds that the right to bear arms is not limited to the home.”

The ruling can be found here [PDF]:


The Court finds that Maryland‘s requirement of a “good and substantial reason” for issuance of a handgun permit is insufficiently tailored to the State‘s interest in public safety and crime prevention. The law impermissibly infringes the right to keep and bear arms, guaranteed by the Second Amendment. The Court will, by separate Order of even date, GRANT Woollard‘s Motion for Summary Judgment and DENY Defendants‘ Motion for Summary Judgment.

You know who’s a sad panda? The Brady Campaign [PDF] (I grabbed a copy of their case docket just in case they decide to toss this one down the memory hole). Apparently they had a vested interest in this case (page 70):

Woollard v. Sheridan (U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland)

The Brady Center is assisting the State of Maryland in this case, brought by the Second Amendment Foundation and Raymond Woollard, challenging the validity of Maryland’s handgun permit process. The named defendants include the Secretary and Superintendent of the Maryland State Police, Terrence Sheridan, and three members of Maryland’s Handgun Permit Review Board.

To qualify for a handgun carry permit in Maryland, an applicant must establish that he or she is an adult; has not been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor for which a term of over 1 year imprisonment has been imposed; has not been convicted of drug crimes; is not an alcoholic or drug addict; and has not exhibited a propensity for violence or instability that may render the applicant’s possession of a handgun dangerous. Additionally, the Superintendent of the State must determine that the applicant “has good and substantial reason to wear, carry, or transport a handgun, such as a finding that the permit is necessary as a reasonable precaution against apprehended danger.”

Plaintiffs contend that the State cannot require handgun permit applicants to prove the above, as it deals with “the exercise of fundamental constitutional rights, including the right to keep and bear arms.” They allege this violates the Second and Fourteenth Amendments. Plaintiffs are asking for permanent injunctive relief against the enforcement of the provisions regulating handgun permits.

On March 22, 2011, the Brady Center filed an amicus brief in the case arguing for dismissal of the lawsuit.

Too bad, so sad. SAF is proving to be the unstoppable behemoth of the litigation world and Alan Gura is their super weapon. I wonder how the Brady Campaign feels right now knowing they have been entirely ineffective at stopping those of us who believe in the right to keep and bear arms from advancing.

Either way this ruling is big. It not only abolishes Maryland’s ability to issue permits on a willy nilly basis but also sets a precedence, which will allow people in other “may issue” states to challenge such barriers between their right to carry a means of self-defense. I wonder who the next violator of the Second Amendment will be to fall before the might of SAF.

Lots of Complaining But What’s the Solution LaPierre

Via Uncle I came across a column by NRA president Wayne LaPierre. In the piece he warns about the dangers of Obama receiving a second term and explains many of the potential dangers:

And as I travel the country talking to fellow National Rifle Association members, gun owners, and Americans from all walks of life, it is clear to me that the next decisive date in American history will be November 6, 2012 – the day America must decide whether President Barack Obama deserves a second term in the White House.

I say this because so many Americans genuinely, and rightly, fear that something is deeply wrong in our great nation. We fear that the America we know and love is in danger of jumping the tracks and spiraling out of control. We see a President whose values and goals are, in many ways, the exact opposite of our beliefs and what generations of Americans have fought and died for.

This is why all gun owners and freedom-loving Americans must ask this question: “If Barack Obama wins a second term in office, will my freedom, and particularly my Second Amendment freedom, become more or less secure?”

And then, we must consider the facts.


This is why I’m asking every NRA member, every gun owner, and every patriotic American to view next year’s election through the lens of freedom. If we fail to draw a line in the sand and defend the future of our Second Amendment rights, then we will lose the one freedom that gives common men and women uncommon power to protect all freedoms. And then, it’s only a matter of time before every freedom in our Bill of Rights is scaled back, diluted or even destroyed.

That’s good and all but it’s nothing everybody isn’t already vehemently aware of. Here’s my question, what’s the National Rifle Association’s (NRA) solution? Let’s take a look at the last election and consider what ended up happening. Last election was set between John McCain and Barack Obama, neither of which were good news. Even though McCain proved himself to be no friend of gun owners the NRA gave him the endorsement. I’m sorry but there was no acceptable reason to get behind McCain considering his history and the NRA should have either endorsed a third-party candidate (fat chance) or simply said, “Both major players are horrible, we’re ducking out of this and focusing our efforts on a contingency plan.”

The Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) moved in with several high-profile court cases that went so far as to incorporate the second amendment. In other words even under dire circumstances SAF found a different route outside of the decision between rock and hard place. Considering the NRA has far more resources available to them they should have been the ones initiating the lawsuits and moving them through, instead they simply continued with the status quo of endorsing the “lesser” of two evils.

So far the Republicans haven’t selected a nominee and there is a chance for the NRA to make a stand. Of the Republican candidates there is only one who will stand up for the rights of gun owners (and everybody else) and candidate is Ron Paul. Instead of complaining about Obama for the entire column LaPierre could have taken a stance and said, “Due to the threat of Obama to the rights of gun owners the NRA is hereby endorsing Ron Paul for Republican Party presidential candidate.” Unfortunately it appears as though the NRA is going to keep playing it’s old game of simply endorsing the Republican candidate.

As it currently stands the Republican Party appears to be setting up Romney to win by simply ignoring Ron Paul and hyping up each other candidate only to have them torn down (so far they’ve done this to Bachmann, Perry, and Cain with Gingrich being the fourth one receiving this treatment). If the election domes down to Obama versus Obama II Romney will the NRA give Romney their endorsement? Will that be their way of fighting for the rights of gun owners?

SAF has the right idea, given the futility of getting true pro-gun candidates into office a new strategy had to be devised and utilizing the court system seems to be a fairly effective strategy. I believe the NRA should drop their tried and false approach of giving the “lesser” of two evils an endorsement and focus on a new and potentially more effective strategy. Perhaps they can start working with SAF from the start of each lawsuit instead of hoping in after all the real leg work as been done and claiming the credit. Maybe the NRA can say, “Well Obama and Romney are both bad for gun owner rights so we’re sitting this election out and concentrating on getting pro-gun Senate and House members in office.”

Yeah this is a rather long rant just to say, “Put up or shut up LaPierre” but I’m getting sick of constant compromises when it comes to my rights. Supporting the “lesser” of two evils doesn’t accomplish jack shit, it merely gives your endorsement to evil. When one strategy doesn’t work you need to be adaptive and move to a new strategy. If endorsing a real pro-gun candidate like Paul isn’t in the works then it’s time for something entirely different.

Seattle Gun Ban Ruled Illegal

Seattle’s ban of guns in parks has been struck down for a second time. The Second Amendment Foundation’s (SAF) case against the city’s government went to the Washington State Cout of Appeals where it was struck down for a second time:

The Washington State Court of Appeals for Division 1 today unanimously upheld a 2010 King County Superior Court ruling against the City of Seattle’s ban on firearms in city parks in a lawsuit originally brought by the Second Amendment Foundation, other gun rights groups and five individual plaintiffs.

SAF Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb said he had always been confident that the Appeals Court would rule “in favor of the law and against the attempt by Seattle to dance around it.”

“We told former Mayor Greg Nickels he was wrong,” Gottlieb said, “and we have reminded the city under Mayor Mike McGinn that it was wrong, and now the Appeals Court has confirmed our position.”

Strike another victory for SAF. Those guys are on one hell of a roll. It’s good to see Washington state refusing to allow cities to ignore the law by preventing citizens from legally carrying a means of self-defense in arbitrarily selected city properties.

I still don’t understand the thought process of some city governments. What is the point in banning the legal carry of firearms in parks? All you do is setup a section of the city where criminals can be reasonably assured unarmed victims are plenty.

Second Amendment Foundation Wins Another Victory in Chicago

The Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) and their super weapon, Alan Gura, won yet another gun rights victory in Chicago. SAF, alongside several other groups, filed a suit against the City of Chicago for the city’s ban on gun ranges within city limits:

BELLEVUE, WA – In a 3-0 ruling issued this morning, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has reversed a lower court ruling and ordered that court to issue a preliminary injunction against the City of Chicago on behalf of the Second Amendment Foundation that prevents the city from banning gun ranges inside city limits.

Joining SAF in the original lawsuit were Action Target, Inc., the Illinois State Rifle Association and three Chicago residents, Rhonda Ezell, William Hespen and Joseph Brown. Their attempts to obtain a temporary restraining order against the gun range ban were twice rejected by the district court. The Appeals Court ruling is severely critical of the lower court’s ruling.

One thing that I noticed is the National Rifle Association (NRA) is completely absent from the list of entities helping with the suit. Why do I feel that is important to point out? Because it demonstrates the effectiveness of SAF even through they’re a much smaller organization with fewer available funds. Many people who donate money to the NRA will often avoid sending funds to other organizations such as SAF because they believe those other organizations are too small to be effective. SAF is proving that isn’t true as they win more and more victories in the courtrooms.

I really enjoy SAF’s method of advancing gun rights. Instead of spending money to send lobbyists to Washington D.C. they’re fighting violations of gun owners’ rights in the courtroom. It’s a cheaper method that has proven itself to be incredibly effective, Hell this method got the second amendment incorporated against the states making outright gun bans illegal in the entirety of the United States. That victory was far more important than most previous gun rights victories because it will required a constitutional amendment in order for any state to outright ban the right of firearm ownership (although they’re still doing a damned good job at establishing everything by a blanket ban).

Congratulations goes out to SAF for winning yet another victory for gun owners of the United States.

SAF Suing California Over “Assault Weapon” Ban

The Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) is bring out a new lawsuit in the first for gun rights. This time SAF is suing California over their “assault weapon” ban:

The Second Amendment Foundation and Calguns Foundation have filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in California, seeking to have the state’s definition of so-called “assault weapons” declared unconstitutionally vague.

Joining SAF and Calguns in the lawsuit is Brendan John Richards, an Iraq combat veteran who served as a U.S. Marine, and whose arrest and six-day incarceration in the Sonoma County jail – and subsequent dismissal of all charges – was the catalyst for this legal action. Named as defendants are California Attorney General Kamala Harris, the California Department of Justice, the City of Rohnert Park and police officer Dean Becker.

Richards was jailed in May 2010 after Officer Becker, investigating a disturbance at a motel where Richards was staying, learned that Richards had two pistols and a rifle, all unloaded, in the trunk of his car. Becker, arrested Richards for unlawful possession of an assault weapon. However, in September of last year, the charges were dismissed by the Sonoma County District Attorney’s office, based on a report from the state Department of Justice that showed none of the guns met the state’s definition of an assault weapon.

The lawsuit rightfully claims that California’s definition is “assault weapon” is vague at best. There is no reason a person should be subjected to state aggression because they possess a rifle that looks scary to some people.

SAF Challenging Interstate Handgun Sale Ban

Here’s another story about the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) being awesome again. In the United States it’s currently not legal for a resident of one state to buy a handgun in another state. This is a rather stupid and arbitrary rule because as a resident of Minnesota I can purchase a long gun in Wisconsin (I’ve done this a couple of times) yet handguns are somehow so super scary that they are subject to entirely different rules. It seems SAF has had enough of this shit:

The Second Amendment Foundation today filed suit in U.S. District Court in Virginia challenging the constitutionality of federal and Virginia provisions barring handgun sales to non-residents.

SAF is joined in the lawsuit by Michelle Lane, a District of Columbia resident who cannot legally purchase handguns because there are no retail firearms dealers inside the District. The Supreme Court’s 2008 Heller ruling struck down the District’s handgun ban, confirming that individuals have a constitutional right to possess handguns.

I like this strategy. SAF has some smart people working on their legal team as evident by their victories in Heller vs. District of Columbia and McDonald vs. Chicago so I feel their chances of destroying this ban are pretty decent. Every gun owner should toss a few bucks their way so they can keep being awesome.

SAF Sues Massachusetts Over Their Gun Ban for Legal Alien Residents

The Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) has quickly risen to being my favorite gun rights organization. Although they don’t have nearly as much money as the National Rifle Association (NRA) I feel SAF is better utilizing what they have by suing government entities that try to bar second amendment rights from people in the United States.

Their latest lawsuit is against Massachusetts. SAF is none to happy with the state’s law that prohibits legal alien residents from owning firearms:

The lawsuit alleges that Christopher M. Fletcher of Cambridge and Eoin M. Pryal of Northboro – both legal resident aliens – have been specifically denied the ability to obtain a Firearms Identification Card or a License to Carry of any kind. Before moving to Massachusetts, Fletcher lived in California, where he had a Basic Firearms Safety certificate and Handgun Safety certificate, which allowed him to purchase and own firearms including handguns. Pryal, who is married to a citizen of this country, and had a shotgun certificate and international dealer’s license while living in the United Kingdom.

SAF is really good at playing it smart with these lawsuits. They manage to find the best people who have been wronged by the government but have a background that makes it hard to argue said persons should be barred the right to bear arms.

It seems SAF really wants me to donate more money as they keep doing awesome things like this. Well I’m more than happy to oblige them.

SAF Going After Bloomberg

Have I mentioned today how much I love the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF)? No? Well I just want to state that I love SAF. At the moment they are the organization that’s willing to go around and start shit which has lead to an expansion of the right to keep and bear arms. It looks like their next taget is going to be Bloomberg as SAF is going after New York City’s handgun permit fees:

The Second Amendment Foundation today filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg that alleges New York City’s $340 fee for a permit to keep a handgun in the home is “excessive and … impermissibly burdens the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.”

SAF is joined in the lawsuit by the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association and five individual New York City residents. Also named as a defendant in the lawsuit is New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.

“Under state law,” said SAF Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb, “the maximum fee for issuing a New York State handgun license is $10, but the law exempts citizens living in New York City. That exemption allows the city to charge an exorbitant fee for the license, which discourages city residents from exercising their civil rights while violating the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.”

This is looking to be a great lawsuit. Requiring a fee to own a firearm regardless is sickening but when the fee is set high enough to ensure poor people can’t exercise their right the fee becomes dangerous those individuals. Of course King Bloomberg likely doesn’t want the serfs in his city to have a means of defending themselves. It’s nice to see SAF doesn’t share that sentiment.

Also it looks like it’s time to send SAF some more money. I do enjoy paying an organization for good work.

Why Are Anti-Gunners Still Using These Argument

So the BBC has a writeup on America’s liberalization (term used in the classical sense not modern sense) of gun laws. Obviously being the BBC they give more time to anti-gunners such as Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik:

“They’re hell-bound to try and put guns in schools,” he says of Mr Gould and his Republican colleagues.

“If they’re successful in my opinion at some point in the future there’s going to be a ‘Gunfight at OK Corral’ in some classroom.”

Emphasis mine. Anti-gunners have been claiming there will be “blood in the streets” since right to carry laws started being enacted. The problem comes from the fact this still hasn’t happened and we’ve had right to carry laws for quite some time now. Continued use of this argument is a side effect of the fact anti-gunners have no argument to stand on. They’ve been proven wrong time and time again yet are so scared of inanimate objects with triggers that they refuse face reality and admit they are wrong.

I’m still baffled at the fact that anti-gunners don’t get the fact that criminals ignore laws. Saying a place is a gun free zone doesn’t stop shootings as noted by school shootings. The best thing we can do is give people a fighting chance and that can only be done by allowing them equal force to the criminals.

Of course Brady Campaign shill Colin Goddard has some input on the subject at hand:

He says he’s not opposed to the right of law-abiding citizens to bear arms, but he doesn’t like the idea of concealed weapons, especially on campus.

“That is not a right, that is a privilege that we grant to certain people who meet certain requirements,” he says. “And I’m saying those requirements are very low.”

Of course he mentions the United States Constitution:

“The second amendment is the only amendment with the word ‘regulated’ in it. And I’d say that’s there for a reason.”

The Second Amendment states “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” Notice that regulated appears in relation to the militia but there is a comma which delineates a separation of thought. The amendment then says the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. Shall not be infringed means what it states. Another thing Mr. Collins completely ignored is the Arizona constitution which is covered in the Second Amendment Foundation’s (SAF) article:

Article II, section 26 of the Arizona Constitution guarantees the following: “The right of the individual citizen to bear arms in defense of himself or the State shall not be impaired, but nothing in this section shall be construed as authorizing individuals or corporations to organize, maintain, or employ an armed body of men.”

No mention of “well regulated” even appears in Arizona’s Constitution. Too bad so sad Mr. Brady shill. Until you anti-gunners can demonstrate a gun control law actually preventing murders your argument is completely irrelevant due to the fact we can demonstrate liberalized gun laws haven’t increase violent crime rates.

Give Credit Where Credit is Due

Unless you’re the National Rifle Association (NRA) apparently. The Gun Rights Examiner has a piece talking about how the NRA is taking credit for the recent McDonald vs. Chicago case that incorporated the Second Amendment. The case was bankrolled and petitioned to the Supreme Court by the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) but the NRA seems to ignore that fact when they talk about it. Both the NRA and the SAF had a case to bring to the Supreme Court and the head honchos of judiciary chose the SAF case. The NRA then petitioned and were granted shared time in the SAF case.

Needless to say in the NRA-ILA article that the Examiner was talking about didn’t both to mention SAF once. That is pretty dickish if I do say so myself. I think it’s about time I went and practiced my other privilege of being a member of the NRA, complain to the organization when they aren’t doing what they should be doing.