Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN News

Corps' Regulation Violates Core Right of Self-Defense

Friday, October 17, 2014

A federal regulation that banned the use of firearms by law-abiding citizens for self-defense purposes on property administered by, or subject to, the control of the Army Corps of Engineers violates the Second Amendment and is unconstitutional, according to a ruling this week by Chief Judge B. Lynn Winmill of the United States District Court for the District of Idaho.  This decision, granting the plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment and granting a permanent injunction, follows an earlier ruling in January issuing a preliminary injunction.

With very limited exceptions, which do not include self-defense, the regulation prohibits possession of "loaded firearms, ammunition, loaded projectile firing devices, bows and arrows, crossbows, or other weapons" in the recreation areas surrounding 700 dams built by the Corps in the United States.  Two residents who used Corps-managed areas in Idaho for camping and other recreational purposes sued, claiming that the regulation violated their Second Amendment rights by prohibiting them from possessing a functional firearm in a tent (a temporary home), and from carrying a firearm on the sites.

The Corps had raised several arguments in support of its regulation, such as:  its recreation sites are public venues where large numbers of people congregate (over 300 million visitors annually), making it "imperative" that firearms be tightly regulated. In addition, these sites are "sensitive places," being government property containing "critical infrastructure" that require firearm bans in light of homeland security threats.  The Corps also claimed that it was entitled to be judged against a less restrictive standard of review because in imposing the ban it was acting as an owner managing its own property rather than as a governmental entity.

None of these claims was sufficient to overcome the fact that this regulation entirely "destroys" the core Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens to carry operable firearms for the lawful purpose of self-defense.  The court, referring to Peruta v. County of San Diego, 742 F.3d 1144 (9th Cir. 2014), noted that the right of self-defense extends outside the home, and the Second Amendment requires some form of carrying for self-defense outside the home.  At most, this regulation would allow a person to carry an unloaded firearm without carrying its ammunition, which essentially made the firearm useless for self-defense.  Because the regulation effectively extinguished Second Amendment self-defense rights, the court declared the law unconstitutional "under any light," regardless of the level of constitutional review or scrutiny used.  While government buildings and facilities could warrant protection as "sensitive" places, the court pointed out what was actually at issue was "outdoor parks."

The message again is that the government cannot seek to accomplish its objectives -- including a need to safeguard property or protect the general public -- by completely ignoring the Second Amendment right of self-defense.  Citing Peruta, the court noted: "We are well aware that, in the judgment of many governments, the safest sort of firearm-carrying regime is one which restricts the privilege to law enforcement with only narrow exceptions.  Nonetheless, the enshrinement of constitutional rights necessarily takes certain policy choices off the table."

Although Chief Judge Winmill granted a permanent injunction enjoining the enforcement of the regulation, the scope of the injunction is limited to Idaho because the plaintiffs' allegations are limited to Corps' property in Idaho.  The case is Morris v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, No. 3:13-CV-00336-BLW (D. Idaho Oct. 13, 2014).

IN THIS ARTICLE
Army Corps of Engineers Idaho
TRENDING NOW
Court's Commonsense Conclusion: "There Was a Gun" Isn't Enough to Justify Issuing a Restraining Order

Second Amendment  

Friday, May 19, 2017

Court's Commonsense Conclusion: "There Was a Gun" Isn't Enough to Justify Issuing a Restraining Order

The Supreme Court of North Dakota confirmed this week that simply possessing a handgun while on one’s own private property cannot support a finding of "disorderly conduct" under the state’s disorderly conduct restraining order law. ...

Illinois: House Committee Passes Bill to Close Local Gun Dealers

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Illinois: House Committee Passes Bill to Close Local Gun Dealers

The House Judiciary Committee passed Senate Bill 1657 by a 7-6 vote.

Abbott Signs Senate Bill 16, Bringing Texas License To Carry Fees Down to Among Lowest in Nation

News  

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Abbott Signs Senate Bill 16, Bringing Texas License To Carry Fees Down to Among Lowest in Nation

The National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) today applauded Texas Gov. Greg Abbott for signing into law NRA-backed legislation that will make license to carry fees in Texas among the lowest in the ...

Rep. Rob Bishop Introduces the "Lawful Purpose and Self Defense Act"

News  

Friday, May 26, 2017

Rep. Rob Bishop Introduces the "Lawful Purpose and Self Defense Act"

On Wednesday, May 24, 2017, Chairman of the House Committee on Natural Resources Rob Bishop (R-UT) introduced H.R. 2620, the "Lawful Purpose and Self Defense Act." This bill would remove ATF's authority to use the ...

Nevada: Governor Sandoval Signs AB 118!

Monday, May 22, 2017

Nevada: Governor Sandoval Signs AB 118!

Today, May 22, Governor Brian Sandoval signed important pro-gun legislation, Assembly Bill 118, into law.  AB 118, sponsored by Assemblyman Skip Daly, will allow members of the military and those who have received an honorable ...

California: Don’t Miss our May 25th Webinar to Discuss the Newest DOJ Draft “Assault Weapons” Regulations

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

California: Don’t Miss our May 25th Webinar to Discuss the Newest DOJ Draft “Assault Weapons” Regulations

Tomorrow, Thursday, May 25, at 12:00 pm (PT), NRA’s legal team will be hosting a free webinar to discuss the recently submitted “assault weapon” regulations.   

Washington: NRA Files Amicus Brief in Challenge to Kitsap County Anti-Gun Ordinance

Monday, May 22, 2017

Washington: NRA Files Amicus Brief in Challenge to Kitsap County Anti-Gun Ordinance

Last week, attorneys on behalf of the NRA filed an amicus brief in Kitsap County v. Kitsap Rifle and Revolver Club (Kitsap II), the case which challenges Kitsap County’s firearm discharge ban and range licensing scheme.  Kitsap Rifle and ...

Concealed Carrying Hits New High, Underscores Need for National Law

News  

Friday, May 26, 2017

Concealed Carrying Hits New High, Underscores Need for National Law

Information collected by the Crime Prevention Research Center (CPRC) indicates an unprecedented surge in the number of concealed carry permits, with the largest one-year increase on record occurring between May 2016 and May 2017.

Legislation Reintroduced to Permanently Dismantle Obama-Era Enforcement Abuse

News  

Second Amendment  

Friday, May 26, 2017

Legislation Reintroduced to Permanently Dismantle Obama-Era Enforcement Abuse

This week, Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO) reintroduced the Financial Institution Customer Protection Act, a bill aimed at permanently dismantling Operation Choke Point (OCP).  

Illinois: Anti-Gun Legislators Attempting to Get “Assault Weapon” Language into law

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Illinois: Anti-Gun Legislators Attempting to Get “Assault Weapon” Language into law

This week, Senator Antonio Munoz filed Senate Amendment 2 to Senate Bill 556.

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -
NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.