NEW YORK, NY (April 23, 2021) — Today, Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) announced the filing of its opening brief with the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in Syracuse v. BATFE, which is a federal lawsuit brought by anti-Second Amendment cities and organizations that seeks to force the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to redefine the term “firearm” to include non-firearm objects, including so-called “80%” objects. The brief can be viewed at FPCLegal.org.
Previously, FPC moved to intervene in the matter as of right and by the Court’s permission. The trial court subsequently denied the motion, which was promptly appealed to the Second Circuit. At the invitation of the trial court, FPC filed a ‘friend of the court’ brief in the matter.
FPC’s opening brief argues that the trial court was wrong to determine that the intervenor’s interests in the case “were adequately represented by Federal Defendants” and that “the outcome of the underlying litigation poses a direct and substantial threat to the constitutionally and statutorily protected property rights of Intervenor-Appellants, their customers, and their members.”
The brief also points out that the Federal Defendants “have taken a stance much more akin to Plaintiff-Appellees than Intervenor-Appellants” after President Biden’s recent announcement that he would order the Justice Department to issue a proposed rule to regulate non-firearm objects.
“We are hopeful that the Second Circuit will correct the lower court’s error in denying our petition for intervention,” commented FPC’s Senior Director of Legal Operations, Adam Kraut. “Based on the interests asserted, the lower court’s rationale for denying the petition, and the position taken by the Biden Administration’s ATF, we believe that intervention was proper in this case. Now, more than ever, the denial of the petition needs to be reversed in order to preserve the proposed intervenor’s interests in this matter.”
The underlying lawsuit was filed in August of 2020 by the cities of Syracuse (NY), San Jose (CA), Chicago (IL), Columbia (SC), as well as Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund, and Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund against the ATF, Acting ATF Director Regina Lombardo, the Department of Justice (DOJ), and then-Attorney General William Barr, now Attorney General Merrick Garland.
Firearms Policy Coalition and its FPC Law team are the nation’s next-generation advocates leading the Second Amendment litigation and research space. Some FPC legal actions include:
- A challenge to Tennessee’s ban on handgun carry by adults under 21 (Basset v. Slatery)
- A challenge to the federal ban on the sale of handguns and handgun ammunition to adults under 21 years of age (Reese v. ATF)
- A challenge to Maryland’s ban on so-called “assault weapons” (Bianchi v. Frosh)
- Challenge to California’s ban on so-called “assault weapons” (Miller v. Calif. Att’y General)
- A challenge to Maryland’s ban on handgun carry (Call v. Jones)
- A challenge to New Jersey’s ban on handgun carry (Bennett v. Davis)
- A challenge to New York City’s ban on handgun carry (Greco v. New York City)
- A challenge to Pennsylvania’s ban on handgun carry by adults under 21 (Lara v. Evanchick)
- A challenge to California’s handgun “roster”, microstamping, and self-manufacturing ban laws (Renna v. Becerra)
- A challenge to Pennsylvania’s laws completely denying the right to carry to individuals who were previously granted relief from prior non-violent convictions and are not currently prohibited from possessing firearms (Suarez v. Evanchick)
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, and 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.