SACRAMENTO, CA (January 14, 2021) — Today, the Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) announced that in roughly two weeks’ time, justices of two state courts of last resort have cited the scholarship of FPC Director of Research, Joseph Greenlee.
The Supreme Court of Ohio decided State v. Weber, 2020-Ohio-6832 on December 23, 2020. The issue before the court was the constitutionality of a law prohibiting the carrying or use of a firearm while intoxicated. The majority upheld the law under intermediate scrutiny, determining that it furthered the government’s interest in protecting people from harm caused by the combination of firearms and alcohol.
Justice DeWine concurred in the judgment but argued that the more appropriate test is one based on text, history, and tradition—the test FPC frequently advocates for. In discussing the type of people who were historically disarmed, Justice DeWine cited Greenlee’s article on prohibited persons.
The Supreme Court of Wisconsin decided Wisconsin v. Roundtree, 2018AP594-CR on January 7, 2021. Roundtree argued that Wisconsin’s lifetime firearms ban for all felons was unconstitutional as applied to him because his conviction over ten years ago for failing to pay child support did not justify such a ban. The majority upheld the ban under intermediate scrutiny, determining that prohibiting Roundtree from owning a firearm was sufficiently tailored to the State’s interest in public safety and preventing gun violence.
Justice Hagedorn dissented. He would have held the law unconstitutional. Throughout his dissent, Justice Hagedorn relied on Greenlee’s prohibited persons article to establish the history of prohibited persons, citing the article 15 times. Justice Hagedorn made the compelling case that historically, only dangerous persons were prohibited, so any test that disarms people based on virtue—rather than dangerousness—is inappropriate. Moreover, because the State failed to demonstrate that preventing Roundtree from owning a firearm advances the State’s interest in protecting against gun-related violence, the ban should have failed even intermediate scrutiny.
Firearms Policy Coalition and its FPC Law team are the nation’s next-generation advocates leading the Second Amendment litigation and research space, having recently filed two United States Supreme Court petitions for certiorari (review) (Folajtar v. Attorney General and Holloway v. Attorney General) and several major federal Second Amendment lawsuits, including challenges to the State of Maryland’s ban on “assault weapons'' (Bianchi v. Frosh), the State of Pennsylvania’s and Allegheny County’s carry restrictions (Cowey v. Mullen), 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, 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.