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Court of Appeals Declines to Rehear Heller III, Reinforces Pro-Gun Victory

Friday, February 26, 2016

Court of Appeals Declines to Rehear Heller III, Reinforces Pro-Gun Victory

Last year, we reported that a panel for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia held in the long-running follow-up to the original Heller case (known currently as Heller III), that certain provisions of D.C.’s firearm registration scheme violate the Second Amendment. These included D.C.’s handgun rationing rule, its requirement to renew firearm registrations every three years, a required test of “legal knowledge” for registration applicants, and the requirement that registration applicants present their firearms in person at police headquarters. As we noted at the time, however, the District still had options for further review of the decision.

Today, one of those options has been foreclosed, with the decision that the full appellate court will not rehear the panel’s ruling, leaving the initial ruling fully intact. While this development does not necessarily mean the legal wrangling in the case is over, it does reinforce a significant pro-gun victory the courts.

Interestingly, Cathy Lanier, Chief of D.C.’s Metropolitan Police Department and long-time collaborator in its anti-gun efforts, went off her usual script last fall when talking to Anderson Cooper on CBS’s 60 Minutes. To the shock of all concerned, Lanier provided the following advice on survival against an active shooter: “Your options are run, hide, or fight," she told Cooper. “If you're in a position to try and take the gunman down, to take the gunman out, it's the best option for saving lives before police can get there." She also noted that most deaths in these situations occur in the first 10 minutes, while even the fastest police response times can take up to seven minutes. While she didn’t explicitly encourage private residents to arm themselves (as her colleagues in law enforcement recently have been), her comments seem to underscore the legitimacy (and, indeed, the necessity) of self-defense 

Does this signal a change in course by the District in its antagonism toward the Second Amendment? Have the nearly eight years since the original Heller decision – which have shown no tendency by criminals to abide by D.C.’s registration law and no trend of law-abiding people turning into criminals after lawfully obtaining a gun – finally validated the pro-gun viewpoint? 

Don’t count on D.C.’s bureaucrats to think so. Shortly after Lanier spoke to Cooper, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser weighed in with her own opinion: “I don’t like guns,” she said to raucous applause at a news conference. Another D.C. official suggested that if residents felt a need to defend themselves, they should use baseball bats.

In Washington, D.C., that really says it all. The esthetics of the District’s elite trump empirical evidence concerning the safety and protections of its residents. That’s why your NRA continues to support pro-gun litigation in D.C., as well as the D.C. Second Amendment Enforcement Act, which would comprehensively reform D.C.’s gun control laws and prohibit future abuses by the D.C. Council. If change is going to happen, it won’t come from D.C. officials whose politics and ideology come before the lives of their constituents.

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Monday, October 19, 2020

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A recent article on a gun control news site laments that the COVID-19 pandemic has thwarted ballot initiatives to expand gun bans and restrictions. Initiatives in Florida, Oklahoma, Ohio and Oregon have stalled, allegedly due to the ...

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Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Anti-gun Politicians Seek to Tax Your Second Amendment Rights Into Oblivion

In 1819, Chief Justice John Marshall of the U.S. Supreme Court famously wrote:  “the power to tax involves the power to destroy ….”

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

Gun Laws  

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

CAUTION: Federal and state firearms laws are subject to frequent change. This summary is not to be considered as legal advice or a restatement of law.

Anti-Gun Organization Prepared to Launch National Group of Gun Owners Who Apparently Don’t Like Guns

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Monday, October 19, 2020

Anti-Gun Organization Prepared to Launch National Group of Gun Owners Who Apparently Don’t Like Guns

Yes, that title doesn’t make much sense, but neither does a group that promotes banning firearms starting a national organization called Gun Owners for Safety. Nonetheless, The Hill recently reported that the anti-gun group Giffords is doing just ...

Montana: Californian-funded Fake Hunting Group Lies About Steve Bullock’s Anti-gun Record

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Monday, October 12, 2020

Montana: Californian-funded Fake Hunting Group Lies About Steve Bullock’s Anti-gun Record

Montana gun owners have been subjected to an abundance of lies this election season. Leading the misinformation campaign is fake hunting group Montana Hunters & Anglers Leadership Fund. Bankrolled by a wealthy San Francisco Bay ...

Law Professors Make Case for Second Amendment Rights in Uncertain Times

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Monday, October 19, 2020

Law Professors Make Case for Second Amendment Rights in Uncertain Times

Americans have made clear that they value their Second Amendment rights, especially during uncertain times. Faced with the COVID-19 pandemic and then widespread civil unrest, Americans have bought firearms in record numbers. Through September, the FBI ...

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Monday, September 21, 2020

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During a September 2019 “townhall” hosted by New Hampshire ABC affiliate WMUR, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden made clear that he does not believe the Second Amendment protects an individual right to keep and bear arms and ...

Judge Barrett Picks Second Amendment Case as Her “Most Significant” Ruling

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Monday, October 12, 2020

Judge Barrett Picks Second Amendment Case as Her “Most Significant” Ruling

The confirmation hearings of Judge Amy Coney Barrett, President Trump’s nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court, are due to begin on October 12th before the Senate Judiciary Committee, chaired by U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC).

Your Action Needed: Urge the Department of Justice to Rein in ATF's Arbitrary Determination on "Honey Badger" Pistol!

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Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Your Action Needed: Urge the Department of Justice to Rein in ATF's Arbitrary Determination on "Honey Badger" Pistol!

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Please Urge the Department of Justice to Rein in ATF's Arbitrary Determination on "Honey Badger" Pistol

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Monday, October 12, 2020

Please Urge the Department of Justice to Rein in ATF's Arbitrary Determination on "Honey Badger" Pistol

As we reported last week, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (“ATF”) recently informed firearm manufacturer Q, LLC that, in ATF’s view, Q’s “Honey Badger” pistol with stabilizing brace is actually a short-barreled rifle and ...

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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.