SAN FRANCISCO (May 26, 2021) — Today, Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) announced the filing of a reply brief in the appeal of Martinez v. Villanueva, a case challenging COVID-19-related closures of firearm and ammunition retailers and shooting ranges in Los Angeles County. The brief can be found at FPCLegal.org.
In March 2020, FPC, along with individuals, firearm and ammunition retailers, Second Amendment Foundation (SAF), California Gun Rights Foundation, and National Rifle Association of America (NRA) sued Los Angeles County, Sheriff Alex Villanueva, other County officials, and others over the forced closures. The district court dismissed the case, erroneously finding that the defendants’ actions survived intermediate scrutiny and did not violate the Second Amendment rights of the plaintiffs and others in Los Angeles.
FPC’s brief today responds to the answering brief filed earlier this month, arguing that a live controversy involving actionable injury remains, that the case is not moot, and that rather than answering the important questions presented in the appeal, the defendants “pose a set of different questions, which attempt to recast the nature of this appeal in a more favorable light.”
The brief also argues that even if the closures lasted “no more than five days,” as the defendants claim, that only defines the degree of the constitutional violation, not the existence of it, adding that “[t]he loss of Second Amendment freedoms even for minimal periods of time is equally significant and potentially fatal given their purpose … Surely no one would tolerate policies that ‘temporarily’ deny jury trials in criminal cases, permit random warrantless home searches, or suspend parental rights just because the policies last ‘no more than five days.’”
“The defendants provided no reason or evidence why gun stores could not safely operate under the same conditions as other businesses, such as bicycle repair shops, car dealerships, and dry cleaners,” said FPC’s Director of Constitutional Studies and co-counsel on the brief, Joseph Greenlee. “Their decision to shut down the entire firearms industry instead appears to reflect an animus towards the right of its residents to keep and bear arms.”
FPC has filed numerous lawsuits over COVID-19 closures of gun stores, ranges, and permitting, including in California, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, and New Mexico.
Individuals that are interested in joining FPC in the fight against tyranny can become a member of the FPC Grassroots Army for just $25 at JoinFPC.org.
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 brief supporting certiorari in NYSRPA v. Bruen, which was granted by the U.S. Supreme Court
- A challenge to Georgia's ban on handgun carry by adults under 21 (Baughcum v. Jackson)
- A challenge to Tennessee’s ban on handgun carry by adults under 21 (Basset v. Slatery)
- 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 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 California’s handgun “roster”, microstamping, and self-manufacturing ban laws (Renna v. Bonta)
- 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)
For more on these cases and other legal action initiatives, visit FPCLegal.org and follow FPC on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube.
Firearms Policy Coalition (firearmspolicy.org), a 501(c)4 nonprofit organization, exists to create a world of maximal human liberty, defend constitutional rights, advance individual liberty, and restore freedom. FPC’s efforts are focused on the Right to Keep and Bear Arms and adjacent issues including freedom of speech, due process, unlawful searches and seizures, separation of powers, asset forfeitures, privacy, encryption, and limited government. The FPC team are next-generation advocates working to achieve the Organization’s strategic objectives through litigation, research, scholarly publications, amicus briefing, legislative and regulatory action, grassroots activism, education, outreach, and other programs. FPC Law (FPCLaw.org), the nation’s largest public interest legal team focused on the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, lead the Second Amendment litigation and research space.