WASHINGTON, D.C. (January 9, 2018) – Attorneys for three civil rights advocacy organizations and three individuals have filed a petition seeking United States Supreme Court review of a controversial 2017 decision by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals that upheld an Alameda County, California law effectively banning gun stores within the unincorporated area of the county. A copy of the petition can be viewed here.
The lawsuit, first filed in 2012, challenged a county ordinance that prohibits gun stores from being located within 500 feet of places that include residentially zoned districts. But, according to a scientific study conducted by the plaintiffs that included a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) evaluation of all parcels in Alameda County, there are no lots within the unincorporated county that meet the ordinance’s 500-foot-rule requirements.
On appeal, the plaintiffs won before a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit. But that opinion was vacated and reversed following an en banc rehearing before the full appeals court. Now the case is being appealed to the nation’s highest court.
“You simply cannot allow local governments to ignore the Second Amendment because they don't like how the Supreme Court has ruled on the amendment twice in the past ten years,” noted Second Amendment Foundation founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “You shouldn't be able to zone the Second Amendment out of the Bill of Rights.”
“Local neighbors who live eight lanes across an interstate and the anti-rights politicians that cater to them can't redline gun stores and the right to buy arms out of existence,” noted The Calguns Foundation’s Chairman, Gene Hoffman. “Since this case was filed multiple local city and county governments have used unconstitutional zoning laws to stop new gun stores from opening and close down existing gun stores. If this was a book store or an abortion clinic, the Ninth Circuit would not have hesitated in striking this zoning regulation unanimously.”
“The Supreme Court declared that the Second Amendment was not a second-class right, but lower courts are ignoring that and holding otherwise—and so far, they've been getting away with it. We hope this case gets individual liberty back on track,” added California Association of Federal Firearms Licensees’ founder and Executive Vice President Brandon Combs.
“The federal courts exist, in part, to protect fundamental rights that might not be popular in certain jurisdictions,” noted California attorney Don Kilmer, who represents the plaintiffs. “Today, in the Ninth Circuit, those are gun rights. Tomorrow, who knows? One question presented by this case is whether our rights are subject to only one Constitution, or do those rights change from state to state?”
Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) is joined in the case by California Association of Federal Firearms Licensees (CAL-FFL), The Calguns Foundation (CGF), and three businessmen, John Teixeira, Steve Nobriga, and Gary Gamaza. They are represented by Virginia attorney Alan Gura and California attorney Don Kilmer.
The Calguns Foundation (www.calgunsfoundation.org) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that serves its members, supporters, and the public through educational, cultural, and judicial efforts to advance Second Amendment and related civil rights.
California Association of Federal Firearms Licensees (www.calffl.org) (CAL-FFL) is a 501(c)6 nonprofit organization serving its members and the public through direct and grassroots issue advocacy, regulatory input, legal efforts, and education. CAL-FFL’s membership includes firearm dealers, training professionals, shooting ranges, licensed collectors, others who participate in the firearms ecosystem.
Second Amendment Foundation (www.saf.org) is the nation’s oldest and largest tax-exempt education, research, publishing and legal action group focusing on the Constitutional right and heritage to privately own and possess firearms. Founded in 1974, the Foundation has grown to more than 650,000 members and supporters and conducts many programs designed to better inform the public about the consequences of gun control.