The oral arguments before the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in the case Peterson v. Garcia et al are being held this afternoon in Denver. The case involves the attempt by Gray Peterson to obtain a concealed carry permit in Colorado as that state does not recognize his Washington State permit. For those that are unaware of Mr. Peterson and this case, he is gay and is a strong advocate of Second Amendment rights.
While the primary oral arguments will be made by John Monroe, attorney for Mr. Peterson, and the Colorado Attorney General’s Office, the Court of Appeals has allowed extra time for oral arguments by certain amici (friends of the court) in this case. Alan Gura will be representing the Second Amendment Foundation and a whole host of groups which include among others Illinois Carry, ISRA, and CalGuns. The NRA Civil Rights Defense Fund will be represented by Matt Bower of the NRA and the Brady Campaign will be represented by Jonathan Lowy.
As might be expected from the gun prohibitionists, they are portraying this as a battle between the good Brady Campaign and the evil NRA to prevent “guns in the streets.” From their press release:
Attorneys for the Brady Center and the NRA (National Rifle Association) will face off in a first-in-the-nation case before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit in Denver, Colorado Monday, March 19. The case, Peterson v. Garcia, will decide whether the Constitution allows Colorado to protect public safety by continuing its policy of regulating who can carry loaded and concealable guns in public.
Senior Judge Walker D. Miller of the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado dismissed the original case on March 8, 2011.The gun lobby then appealed to the 10th Circuit.
The Brady Center filed an amicus brief on July 19, 2011, in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit, urging dismissal of the appeal. The Brady Center’s brief highlights the severe danger posed by concealed weapons, with studies showing that the carrying of guns in public does not make one safer, but instead increases the risks of death and injury. Brady believes that communities should be able to decide who can carry loaded guns on their streets, and in their parks and playgrounds.
Dangerous legislation has been introduced in Congress to force states like Colorado to honor concealed weapon licenses granted by other states, even by states with virtually no standards for concealed carry, and that allow carrying by people with violent pasts.
Notice that there is no mention in this release – and I presume none in their brief – that this case is really about a gay man wishing to protect himself from predators. I’d like to think that at least some of the the Brady Campaign’s donors might be appalled – and rightfully so – if they knew this.