As part of a nationwide, multi-state, and multi-case effort to compel the government to respect the fundamental right to bear arms for self-defense protected under the Second Amendment, attorney Alan Gura in 2010 filed a civil rights lawsuit (Kachalsky, et al. v. Cacase, et. al.) in the federal New York Southern District court against a number of New York-based defendants, including NY judge Susan Cacace, for denying individuals’ applications for a license to carry a firearm. FPC member organization Second Amendment Foundation, who were also behind the hugely-important McDonald v. Chicago, Ezell v. Chicago, and Moore v. Madigan victories, are likewise a party to and backed the Kachalsky case.
Importantly, this case is the first to reach the U.S. Supreme Court and ask the Court to confirm that the right to bear arms must and does mean that all Americans who are not otherwise prohibited from possessing firearms must not be denied a license to carry, and that the only “good cause” one needs is the existence of the right to self defense itself. Such an outcome would force all states and local governments, including local sheriffs, who issue such licenses to be de facto “shall-issue” and non-arbitrary. This case – and its sister cases like Richards v. Prieto out of California (currently pending a decision at the Ninth Circuit) – is a key program component for restoring the Constitution.
As linked to below, a number of briefs filed by amici curiae (“friends of the court”) urge the Supreme Court to take up the case and decide what the right to “bear arms” means – including 20 U.S. states. That one brief, alone, may be more than enough to convince the Court to hear attorney Gura’s arguments once again. However, a number of excellent briefs were filed by parties like NRA and other FPC member organizations. Each amicus brief is linked to below; for more on the case, read Alan Gura’s petition to the Supreme Court at the end of this post.
A snip of the excellent State of Virginia brief:
The Commonwealth of Virginia, pursuant to Sup. Ct. R. 37(2)(a), and other States, file this Amicus Brief in support of the Petitioners’ petition for a writ of certiorari because N.Y. Penal Law § 400.00(2)(f), improperly trenches upon the Second Amendment.
The Amici have an interest in this Court holding that the self-defense interest animating the Second Amendment’s individual right to keep and bear arms applies broadly beyond the confines of an individual’s home and that no government may condition the exercise of this constitutional right on a ex ante showing of cause. Because this Court’s interpretation of the federal constitutional right will affect the constitutional rights of Amici States’ citizens with regard to the federal government and with regard to other States as they travel, the Amici States urge this Court to interpret the scope of the right and to apply a standard of review to its infringement that will recognize the inherent right of all citizens of the United States to “bear arms” and so lawfully and effectually protect themselves from unlawful violence.
- State of Virginia and 19 Other U.S. States
- Cato Institute
- S.C.O.P.E., NJ2AS, Comm2A, LSAPA (Note: NJ2AS and Comm2A are both FPC member organizations)
- Academics for the Second Amendment
- Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence
- American Civil Rights Union
Kachalsky petition for certiorari:
[gview file=”http://firearmspolicy.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/Kachalsky-Cert-Petition-2013-01-08.pdf” save=”1″]
Kachalsky trial court docket: http://ia600505.us.archive.org/2/items/gov.uscourts.nysd.365487/gov.uscourts.nysd.365487.docket.html