American Rifleman - July 2019 - 20

ILA STORY
With Heller's recognition of a protected individual right
and McDonald's incorporation, these two cases have laid the
foundation for challenging countless laws that clearly infringe
on the rights enshrined in the Second Amendment. Needless
to say, I'm immensely proud that our great organization was
a leader in helping to see these cases to fruition.
The path to winning these cases didn't start when they
were filed; it began nearly a decade before Heller was
decided, when NRA helped to elect President George W.
Bush. If Al Gore was in the White House instead of Bush after
the 2000 elections, I can guarantee you he would have put
an anti-gun majority on the Supreme Court. Without Chief
Justice John Roberts and Associate Justice Samuel Alito, the
Heller and McDonald cases either never would have been
heard or the result would have been dramatically different.
While these are clearly landmark cases, they are by no
means our only successes.
The NRA regularly has to turn to the courts to defend
laws it has helped to enact. In my last column, I mentioned
the success the NRA has had in promoting firearmpreemption statutes at the state level, which ensure
local governments do not pass laws that impose greater
restrictions on law-abiding gun owners than those that
apply statewide. Anti-gun politicians in local governments,
however, regularly ignore state preemption laws.
In numerous states, the NRA successfully has challenged
local laws and ordinances that violate state law. In 2008, a
court struck down Proposition H in San Francisco-a local
ordinance that prohibited virtually all city residents from
possessing handguns. The ordinance also prohibited all
city residents (without exception) from selling, distributing,
transferring, and manufacturing all firearms and ammunition.
Although California's preemption statute is not as clear as
we would prefer, our legal challenge was still successful.
Across the country in Pennsylvania, the preemption
statute is not only clearer than California's, but has been
affirmed in a number of legal challenges over the years.
Nonetheless, the NRA had to sue the city of Philadelphia
in 2008 to prevent its anti-gun police commissioner from
enforcing restrictions that clearly violated the preemption
statute. We succeeded in getting an immediate restraining
order against enforcement.
As you likely are aware from recent reporting on
Pittsburgh, that city is ignoring Pennsylvania's preemption
statute today-and the NRA is assisting city residents with
their lawsuit challenging a ban on publicly carrying loaded
magazines that accept more than 10 rounds of ammunition.
Last month I mentioned that after Hurricane Katrina
devastated New Orleans, local authorities suspended the
Second Amendment and actually seized firearms from lawabiding residents. While we worked through the legislature
to pass a law to ensure that never happened again, the NRA
also had to file suit to ensure seized firearms were returned
to their lawful owners. It took three years, but New Orleans
eventually capitulated to settle the suit.
Honestly, I don't have enough space to talk about all of our
past legal victories, and I want to be sure to discuss the future.
As I wrote earlier, the future appears to be bright for
the Second Amendment when it comes to the courts-at
least at the federal level. Having been instrumental in
helping to elect President Donald Trump in 2016, that
effort is bearing substantial fruit. Two more Supreme
Court Justices who support an originalist view of the

20

JULY 2019

Second Amendment-Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett
Kavanaugh-have been confirmed. President Trump also
is working at an unprecedented pace to appoint judges to
lower levels of the federal judiciary. The Senate has already
confirmed over 100 of his judicial nominees.
We are currently working on cases all over the country
to challenge restrictions on right-to-carry, bans on the most
popular rifles in the country, and limitations on magazine
capacity that prohibit law-abiding gun owners from having
the most effective means of defending themselves. In
addition, there are two NRA-supported cases that have been
appealed to the Supreme Court with the potential to add to
the precedents set in Heller and McDonald.
The court already has agreed to hear New York State
Rifle & Pistol Association v. The City of New York. This case
challenges the constitutionality of one of the most absurd
gun laws in the country, where lawful owners of handguns
who reside in New York City are not just severely limited to
where they may legally transport their firearms within the
city limits, but are virtually prohibited from transporting
them outside the city.

TO ENSURE THIS TREND CONTINUES,
GUN OWNERS MUST WORK TOGETHER
TO ENSURE THAT PRESIDENT TRUMP
AND A PRO-GUN SENATE CAN
CONTINUE TO NOMINATE AND
CONFIRM JUDGES WHO RESPECT THE
SECOND AMENDMENT.
As I write this, we are awaiting the court's decision on
whether it will take up an appeal in the case of Rogers v.
Grewal. This case challenges unconstitutional requirements
for obtaining a permit to carry a handgun in New Jersey. It
would be generous to call the current system "may-issue,"
as the overly restrictive and time-consuming process requires
applicants show "justifiable need" or "good reason" in order
to be approved. Permits are rarely approved, and most
people simply give up when faced with the monolith of New
Jersey's anti-gun bureaucracy.
These two cases had to be appealed to the Supreme
Court because many in the federal judiciary are still hostile to
our right to keep and bear arms. In spite of the precedents
set in Heller and McDonald, some activist judges feel they
have the authority to ignore previous rulings to promote
their anti-Second Amendment views.
Fortunately, as more rulings are handed down that
comport with Heller and McDonald-and as President
Trump continues to appoint more judges that embrace these
rulings-anti-gun judicial decisions should begin to fade or at
least become the outliers they should be.
To ensure this trend continues, gun owners must work
together to ensure that President Trump and a pro-gun
Senate can continue to nominate and confirm judges who
respect the Second Amendment. American voters will once
again be faced with sharply contrasting views for the future
of our right to keep and bear arms in the 2020 election.
Together, we can once again make a difference for the future
of our firearms freedom.
AMERICAN RIFLEMAN



American Rifleman - July 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Rifleman - July 2019

Contents
American Rifleman - July 2019 - Cover1
American Rifleman - July 2019 - Cover2
American Rifleman - July 2019 - 1
American Rifleman - July 2019 - Contents
American Rifleman - July 2019 - 3
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