Well now the NRA knows the frustration people are having with gun control as the administration has to deal with the NRA so the NRA must now deal with the SAF. I hope in seeing what the SAF is doing to progress for pro-second amendment rights that the NRA will work better with the administration to finally reach some sort of gun control measure to protect and keep people safe while allowing the group to still have the right to bear arms. In world of gun right groups, Alan Gottlieb over the past fiver years has tried to expand gun rights with his Washington based nonprofit the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) building one of the most significant rulings. Gottlieb hopes to open the legal floodgates by litigating dozens of cases nationwide which to me seems more of what an ambulance chaser would do than someone trying to protect people’s right. Why make a spectacle of a very serious problem in the United States with gun violence on the rise and no end in site? The Sandy Hook shooting and a series of gun related violence has raised more concern and support in favor of gun control measures, but the ongoing conversation seems to revolve entirely around legislation even though the most significant changes are happening in the courtroom instead of Congress.
The SAF has brought several cases before the court successfully litigating most of them while simultaneously changing the way the second amendment is interpreted. One stand out of the group is Northern Virginia based Litigator, Alan Gura, who in successfully arguing District of Columbia v. Heller before the Supreme Court made it so the Second Amendment not only protects the state militia’s rights to posses a gun but the right of the individual. After the Heller victory, he teamed up with SAF to file more than 40 lawsuits including a major win with the 2010 McDonald v.Chicago case that extended the Heller decision to cover the states overturning the Windy City’s handgun ban it held for 28 years. While the NRA is its own powerhouse in the political world, many have turned their attention to the SAF’s lawsuits that could have a larger impact on the future affecting everything from conceal weapons, background checks, and the firearms industry liability if harm comes from their products. People in the gun movement world see the SAF either as a brave defender or simple as an ambulance chaser that could damage the gun right movement. Many question the SAF’s strategy because of the long term effects that legal precedents have on their movement that could potentially harm the cause if it’s an unfavorable one.
After the Heller decision, the NRA has chosen a more gradual approach to gun rights expansion. According to the Huff Post, Richard Broughton, a law professor and former Justice Department prosecutor, said, “The NRA takes on specific issues, and they’re not going for broad Second Amendment rulings. Instead, they’re asking the courts to narrowly interpret gun regulations and working to win smaller victories they can build on.” Ken Klukowski, a law professor and former NRA staffer, agrees saying, “The NRA takes the long view. They are extraordinary minds for the long ball and the big picture.” The NRA announced as of late it will be considering a lawsuit against the Illinois State Police over a backlog in gun permit applications. A NRA spokesman according to the Huff Post had this to say about the NRA’s litigation strategy that it “is designed to defend the fundamental constitutional right of our over 4.5 million members and tens of millions of supporters.”
The SAF has been far more aggressive than in the NRA about taking on cases. The cases totals for mid-February have the SAF with 18 gun rights cases pending in trial and appellate courts, while the NRA only has nine open cases. According to Huff Post, the totals are remarkable considering the SAF only has $4 million to litigate such cases versus the $243 million the NRA has to litigate. Litigation for the NRA was and still is not their main priority as they prefer to buy I mean influence and elect people with their millions of dollars at the state and federal levels without fighting it out in the court. The SAF on the other hand would rather attack gun regulations in court than prevent it from being passed all together like the NRA. The way Alan Gura tells it is that the NRA focuses on lobbying elected officials which undermines the litigation efforts of the SAF. Klukowski said that the Heller and McDonald rulings are just the beginning of decades of litigation over the scope of gun rights in American the Huff Post reported. The next big case prediction will be to address the right to carry firearms in public which the high court has yet to rule on. This past Friday, the circuit courts reached a split decision on two cases that will likely reach the high court: the 7th Circuit declined to preserve an Illinois law barring concealed weapons while the 10th Circuit declared a concealed carry ban to be constitution. Both disputes are of course backed by the Second Amendment Foundation.