PITTSBURGH, PA (November 28, 2020) — Today, Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) and three individuals filed a new federal Second and Fourteenth Amendment lawsuit against Allegheny County Sheriff William P. Mullen, the County of Allegheny, and Pennsylvania State Police Commissioner Colonel Robert Evanchick challenging their laws and policies that infringe law-abiding individuals’ right to bear arms in public. The case, Cowey, et al. v. Sheriff William Mullen, et al., can be found at FPCLegal.org.
Yesterday, Sheriff Mullen, the County of Allegheny, and their Allegheny County Sheriff’s Office (ACSO) closed the Firearms Division. The FPC Legal team took immediate action to prepare and file the lawsuit, which challenges the county defendants’ policies and practices, including the Firearms Division closure, as well as the Commonwealth’s ban on carrying firearms, all of which work to prevent the plaintiffs and FPC’s members, and others like them, from exercising their fundamental right to bear arms in public.
The plaintiffs' counsel, Adam Kraut, FPC’s Director of Legal Strategy, Raymond DiGuiseppe of The DiGuiseppe Law Firm, and Joshua Prince of Civil Rights Defense Firm, are serving the defendants with the new lawsuit today.
“The Commonwealth’s criminal laws, and the shutdown of the Allegheny County Sheriff’s Firearms Division, among other laws, policies, and practices we challenge in this case, make it impossible for our clients to lawfully carry firearms in public, in violation of their fundamental right to bear arms,” said FPC’s Adam Kraut. “Allegheny County residents who do not have a license to carry firearms are now being completely denied their rights on pain of severe criminal penalties. We look forward to vindicating the rights of our clients and all who wish to carry firearms in public for self-defense.”
“As the Supreme Court just days ago made clear, governments may not ignore the Constitution and prevent people from exercising their rights even during a pandemic,” said FPC President Brandon Combs. “The defendants’ unconstitutional laws and policies have made it impossible for law-abiding people to exercise their right to bear arms. That is a policy choice that the Constitution takes off the table. Through this case, other FPC lawsuits, and many more cases that will be filed very soon, FPC will continue fighting forward and work to restore the People’s right to keep and bear arms across the United States.”
Firearms Policy Coalition and its FPC Law have recently filed several major federal Second Amendment lawsuits including challenges to the State of Pennsylvania’s ban on carry and Philadelphia’s Gun Permit Unit policies and practices (Fetsurka v. Outlaw), Pennsylvania’s ban on carry by adults under 21 years of age (Lara v. Evanchick), California’s Handgun Ban and “Roster” laws (Renna v. Becerra), Maryland’s carry ban (Call v. Jones), New Jersey’s carry ban (Bennett v. Davis), New York City’s carry ban (Greco v. New York City), the federal ban on the sale of handguns and handgun ammunition by federal firearm licensees (FFLs) to adults under 21 years of age (Reese v. BATFE), and others, with many more cases being prepared today. To follow these and other legal cases FPC is actively working on, visit the Legal Action section of FPC’s website or follow FPC on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube.
Firearms Policy Coalition (firearmspolicy.org) is a 501(c)4 nonprofit organization. FPC’s mission is to protect and defend constitutional rights—especially the right to keep and bear arms—advance individual liberty, and restore freedom through litigation and legal action, legislative and regulatory action, education, outreach, grassroots activism, other programs. FPC Law is the nation’s largest public interest legal team focused on Second Amendment and adjacent fundamental rights including freedom of speech and due process, conducting litigation, research, scholarly publications, and amicus briefing, among other efforts.
The Cowey case is another important lawsuit filed as part of FPC’s comprehensive strategy to defend freedom, advance individual liberty, and restore the Constitution and its guarantees for individuals throughout the United States. Individuals who wish to support the lawsuit can do so at JoinFPC.org and www.firearmspolicy.org/cowey.
NOTICE -- POTENTIAL PLAINTIFFS NEEDED!
FPC is urgently seeking individual and FFL plaintiffs for a number of lawsuits that are being prepared to challenge laws and policies that infringe on fundamental rights, including (but not limited to):
- Laws and policies that prevent individuals from purchasing and/or possessing so-called “assault weapons” (semi-automatic firearms with standard characteristics) and “high-capacity” magazines (standard magazines that hold more than 10 rounds)
- Laws and policies that prevent 18-20-year-old young adults (under age 21) from obtaining handguns from FFLs and carry loaded, operable arms in public for self-defense
- Laws and policies that prevent individual adults (over the age of 18) from carrying loaded handguns and other arms outside of their home
- Laws and policies that prevent individuals from acquiring and/or possessing handguns and other arms without first acquiring a “purchase permit”
- Laws and policies that prevent individuals from acquiring or possessing firearms due to a conviction for a non-violent crime, or mental health adjudication that did not involve an involuntary commitment
- Laws that prevent honorably discharged veterans from acquiring or possessing firearms because they have been classified as “a mental defective” due to the agency’s determination that they “lack the mental capacity to contract or manage his or her own affairs” because they need assistance managing VA benefits and have a fiduciary
If someone you know meets the criteria above, or if you would be interested in participating in litigation as a supporting FFL, please contact us:
- On the web at www.firearmspolicy.org/hotline
- By email at potentialplaintiffs[at]fpchq.org
- By phone at (855) 252-4510 (FPC Legal Action Hotline available 24/7/365)
If you would like to support FPC’s Call case and many other pro-Second Amendment lawsuits, legal action, and research, please chip in $5, $10, $25, or whatever you can at https://www.firearmspolicy.org/donate or Join the FPC Grassroots Army at JoinFPC.org.