Friday, June 27, 2008

NRA v. San Francisco and SAF v. Chicago complaints

Well, now that DC v. Heller was handed down by SCOTUS, all hell will be breaking loose in order to push the Heller opinion to its limits. Right on cue, the NRA (and Second Amendment Foundation) has filed suits in multiple cities challenging their gun laws: Chicago, Oak Park, Evanston, Morton Grove, and my own special city of San Francisco. I couldn't find the suburban complaints, but I found the Chicago and San Francisco complaints fairly easily. As SCOTUS blog points out, this is only a complaint, so there isn't a fleshed out argument in defense of the Second Amendment just yet. But it'll be interesting to see where the arguments go.

Even still, the complaints are interesting. The Chicago complaint revolves around three Chicago gun ordinances (1) ban on hand guns (2) registration of all guns, and (3) if a gun owner's registration lapses, the gun is left unregistrable. The plaintiffs are folks who either (i) have to store their handguns outside the city limit or (ii) have had their rifle registration lapsed. Plaintiffs assert that (A) the Second Amendment be incorporated as against the states via the Fourteenth Amendment, (B) the handgun ban, registration requirement, and registration lapse penalty deprives a person the right to possess the handgun within city limits.

The San Francisco complaint seems like more of the same. The SF attack is ban of firearms in SF public housing. Agreeing to the firearms ban is a stipulation to signing a lease agreement to live in SF public housing. It features one plaintiff, anonymous, who is a homosexual who keeps a gun for defensive purposes against people who might want to harm him for his sexual orientation. The other plaintiffs are just, assumedly, heterosexual folks who want firearms for defensive purposes unrelated to assaults on their sexual orientation. Essentially, they are asking for relief from the firearms ban.

From being initially hesitant about bringing DC v. Heller, looks like the NRA/SAF is taking full advantage of its newfound situation. Despite what they believe Heller might have said, one thing it didn't say was that the right to own a gun was incorporated onto the states via the Fourteenth Amendment. Thought Volokh Conspiracy makes a good argument for it.

The plaintiffs in the San Francisco case are being represented by C.D. Michel, of Trutanich, Michel, LLP.

And the plaintiffs in Chicago are being represented by none other than Alan Gura, of Gura & Possessky, PLLC. The very same attorney who successfully argued Heller in front of SCOTUS. Gee, for all the talk about Heller being a "middle of the road" opinion, looks like we know who the real winner in Heller is.

CORRECTION: As was correctly pointed out to me in the comments section by the Webmaster at, the NRA has nothing to do with the Chicago suit. Rather, the Second Amendment Foundation is leading the charge on that one. Thank you Mr. Taff.

UPDATE: SCOTUS Blog has posted the additional complaints for the three Chicago suburb gun cases: Evanson, Ill. Oak Park, Ill. Morton Grove, Ill.

1 comment:

Mark said...

The NRA has nothing to do with the Chicago suit you link to. That suit was filed by the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF)(

I know the NRA is filing suits against Chicago and other Illinois cities, but I'm afraid I don't know where you can find those complaints online.


Mark A. Taff