They’re starting to pay attention.
In some of the most anti-gun states in the country, cities, towns and counties are repealing unconstitutional restrictions on the Second Amendment - because they know we’ll sue them if they don’t.
The Supreme Court dealt a blow to these laws in 2016, in the case of Caetano v. Massachusetts, when they rejected the Massachusetts Supreme Court’s argument that stun guns aren’t covered by Second Amendment protections because they weren’t in common use at the time the Second Amendment was enacted (among other reasons).
Essentially, the Supreme Court’s short decision said to the Commonwealth: “We already said in Heller that the Second Amendment extends to weapons that were not in existence at the time of the founding, and in McDonald that this ‘Second Amendment right is fully applicable to the States.’”
That ruling didn’t overturn Massachusetts’ stun gun ban, but it gave Second Amendment litigation supporters an inkling about how the Supreme Court views that argument.
In light of that, a number of jurisdictions have repealed their stun gun bans. New Jersey repealed its stun gun ban after being faced with a lawsuit by our friends at the New Jersey Second Amendment Society. The City of New Orleans, also facing a lawsuit, repealed their ban.
As New Orleans’ City Attorney said:
“The U.S. Supreme Court has concluded that stun guns are ‘firearms,'” city attorney Rebecca Dietz said. “Therefore, they are subject to the same state mandated regulations as any other firearm. Because state and federal law preempt the City of New Orleans’ ordinance, it was repealed to avoid any confusion.”
FPC is one of three plaintiffs challenging the State of New York’s stun gun ban.
It doesn’t have to come down to a lawsuit, though. Our legal team is sending letters to counties and towns across the nation where these unconstitutional bans are still on the books, informing them of the Caetano decision and strongly urging them to repeal their ban - or we’ll be forced to take them to court.
We’re having success - two towns in Maryland repealed their bans after receiving our letter, and leaders in Tacoma, WA are likely to repeal theirs as well.
With each repeal, we’re a step closer to restoring our fundamental rights. We’re energized by the Supreme Court’s clarification in this case and what it can mean for other cases making their way through the federal courts, and we’re not stopping now - not even close.
We’re just getting started.