SCOTUS Punts Most 2A Cases Again (Updated)

The Supreme Court has their conference on Fridays to examine which cases they wish to take and the ones they don’t. They announce the results on Monday in the Orders of the Court. Not all pending cases are sent to conference but those that are can be denied certiorari (or mandamus), accepted, or passed on to another week’s conference.

The Orders of the Court released this morning indicate that they punted all the major Second Amendment cases to the next week. The exception was Bradley Beers v. Barr which dealt with the denial of Second Amendment rights to those who had been involuntarily committed no matter how long ago.

In that case, the Supreme Court granted certiorari, vacated the judgment, and sent it back to the 3rd Circuit to dismiss as moot.

The petition for a writ of certiorari is granted. The judgment is vacated, and the case is remanded to the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit with instructions to dismiss the case as moot. See United States v. Munsingwear, Inc., 340 U. S. 36 (1950).

Unfortunately, I don’t know enough about the Beers case to say why the Supreme Court said it was moot.

The Polite Society Podcast will have attorney Cody Wisniewski of the Mountain States Legal Foundation as our guest tonight. He will be discussing these potential cases and why he considered the finding of moot in NYSRPA v City of New York was not the end of the world for 2A cases. I will have a link up later where you can watch this on Facebook Live.

Cody was one of the attorneys who brought the case that forced New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-NM) to reopen some gun stores in that state.

UPDATE: Thanks to Rob at 2A Updates I have an answer as to why the Beers case was considered moot. Mr. Beers has been cleared by the State of Pennsylvania, was granted a firearms license, and now has a legally owned firearm.

UPDATE II: The link to the Facebook Live broadcast of the Polite Society Podcast can be found here. It starts at approximately 7:05pm EDT tonight.

Boulder City Council Sued In Federal Court

Tuesday, May 15th, the Boulder City Council unanimously passed a ban on semi-automatic rifles with cosmetics they didn’t like, a ban on standard capacity magazines, and bump fire stocks.

As the Denver Post reported:

The ordinance prohibits the sale and possession of assault weapons, as defined by the city. Also outlawed are magazines with high-capacity magazines and bump stocks.

Owners of the latter two items will have until July 15 to dispose of or sell them. Assault weapons will be grandfathered in; those in possession of such firearms have until the end of the year to receive a certificate proving prior ownership.

The grandfather clause was an olive branch to gun owners, said Councilman Sam Weaver, as was the abandonment of an early proposal to establish a registration system for assault weapons in the city.

Colorado has a state firearms preemption law that, on the face of it, forbids cities from adopting regulations which “prohibits the sale, purchase, or possession of a firearm that a person may lawfully sell, purchase, or possess under state or federal law.” Firearms law is considered a matter of state concern. Denver, so far, is the only city in the state whose firearm regulations were upheld because it was considered a “special case” due to its size.

At the meeting where the Boulder City Council adopted their ban, representatives from the Mountain States Legal Foundation vowed that they would oppose the measure in court. They have kept their word.

In a release sent out late last night, the Mountain States Legal Foundation announced that they had filed suit in US District Court for the District of Colorado. The lead plaintiff is Jon Caldara who is a member of the Boulder Rifle Club. In addition, Caldara is the president of the Independence Institute, a libertarian think tank, based in Denver.

More on the lawsuit including a link to the complaint is below:

May 16, 2018 – DENVER, CO.  A group of
Boulder residents who face heavy fines and jail time for the mere
possession of firearms that are legal throughout Colorado and the United
States filed a lawsuit yesterday challenging the Boulder City Council’s
actions.  Represented by Mountain States Legal Foundation, the
plaintiffs are taking a stand against the city council’s
unconstitutional passage of a broad-sweeping ban of the most popular and
widely-owned firearms and magazines in America.  In a blatant act of
discrimination against a political minority, the city council also
unconstitutionally raised the minimum age for firearm possession in
Boulder city limits to twenty-one.  The lawsuit was filed in federal
district court in Denver, Colorado.
Jon Caldara, a well-known, pillar of the
community; the Boulder Rifle Club, which has been in existence since
1889; Bison Tactical, a small business in Boulder city limits; and Tyler
Faye, a member of the University of Colorado Shooting Team, all seek to
defend their rights and the rights of their fellow Boulder residents
against the illegal, unconstitutional, and discriminatory actions of the
City of Boulder.
“This ban is tantamount to Boulder
attempting to stop drunk driving by banning Subarus,” said Cody J.
Wisniewski, attorney with Mountain States Legal Foundation representing
the plaintiffs.  “It accomplishes nothing other than making criminals of
law-abiding citizens.”
“The West wasn’t won with a registered
gun,” said William Perry Pendley, Mountain States Legal Foundation’s
president.  “Colorado is not California; these laws have no place here.”
On May 15, 2018, the Boulder City Council
passed Ordinance 8245, amending the Boulder Revised Code to ban many
rifles, shotguns, pistols, and standard-capacity magazines, as well as
raising the minimum age for firearm possession to twenty-one, within
Boulder city limits. The ordinance was passed by a unanimous vote
despite an overwhelming number of public comments, telephone calls, and
emails expressing concerns with and opposition to the ordinance. 
Mountain States Legal Foundation will be seeking a preliminary
injunction to suspend enforcement of the ordinance pending the outcome
of the litigation.  Without such an injunction, Boulder residents may be
subject to up to $1,000 in fines and ninety (90) days in jail per
Mountain States Legal Foundation, founded
in 1977, is a nonprofit, public-interest legal foundation dedicated to
individual liberty, the right to own and use property, limited and
ethical government, and the free enterprise system. In 2012, Mountain
States Legal Foundation, on behalf of its clients, prevailed in the
Colorado Supreme Court in
Regents of the University of Colorado v. Students for Concealed Carry on Campus.
The Court’s unanimous decision in that case confirmed the right of
concealed carry permit holders to possess concealed firearms on the
public university’s campus.
For more information:  Caldara v. City of Boulder

Big News On Fight For Carry On Corps Of Engineers’ Lakes And Recreational Areas

Back in 2014, the US District Court for the District of Idaho issued an injunction that prevented the US Army Corps of Engineers from banning functional firearms in campgrounds and on lakes. Chief Judge B. Lynn Winmill’s opinion in Morris v. USACE stated that the prohibition was a substantial burden on the exercise of the Second Amendment. The case was appealed to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals by the government.

Fast forward to today and a different administration. The Mountain States Legal Foundation who represents Elizabeth Nesbitt (formerly Morris) and Al Baker in their case just learned that the DOJ lawyers have submitted an emergency motion stating that they plan to revise the policy and codify the win at the District Court level. If this does become the case, this is a great win for the Second Amendment and its practice on federally-regulated lands.

MSLF just released this statement a few hours ago on the case.

DENVER, CO. An Idaho woman who is barred from carrying a functional firearm for self-defense when she visits vast federal recreational facilities today learned of the Trump administration’s intention to codify her victory before an Idaho federal district court, which ruled the federal government agency’s ban on firearms violates the Second Amendment, at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Elizabeth E. Nesbitt of Nez Perce County is licensed to carry a concealed weapon, regularly carries a concealed weapon, and often seeks to recreate on lands managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Because Corps of Engineers regulations ban functional firearms, even while camped in tents, Ms. Nesbitt is subject to criminal prosecution if she attempts to exercise her Second Amendment rights. Alan C. Baker, a firearms instructor and resident of Idaho’s Latah County, is a co-plaintiff in the suit, which was filed in August of 2013 in Idaho federal district court. The Corps of Engineers did not reply to requests from the attorney for Ms. Nesbitt and Mr. Baker, Mountain States Legal Foundation (MSLF), seeking an exemption from its firearm ban, a ban that has not changed since the landmark Heller ruling by the Supreme Court of the United States.

“On the eve of oral arguments before the Ninth Circuit in Seattle, federal lawyers filed an emergency motion stating their clients’ intention to ‘reconsider[] the firearms policy,’ which the panel granted moments ago,” said William Perry Pendley of Mountain States Legal Foundation. “We are pleased the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will at last comply with the Constitution.”

The Corps of Engineers operates public parks and recreational facilities at water resource development projects under the control of the Department of the Army and thus is the nation’s largest provider of water-based outdoor recreation. It administers 422 lake and river projects in 43 states, spanning 12 million acres, encompassing 55,000 miles of shoreline and 4,500 miles of trails, and including 90,000 campsites and 3,400 boat launch ramps. Waters under its control constitute 33 percent of all U.S. freshwater fishing.

Ms. Nesbitt was issued an emergency license by the Nez Perce County Sheriff to carry a concealed handgun in 2012 due to threats and physical attacks against her by a former neighbor. She regularly carries a handgun for self-defense. She uses Corps-administered public lands near the Snake River in Lewiston, Idaho, to boat with friends, regularly walks the Corps-administered paths in the area with her dog and/or her family, and must travel across Corps-administered public lands to reach Hells Gate State Park.

Mr. Baker is a NRA-Certified Home Firearm Safety, Personal Protection In The Home, Rifle, Pistol, and Shotgun Instructor, is a Utah Concealed Firearms Instructor, is licensed to carry a concealed handgun in Idaho, Utah, Oregon, and Arizona and regularly carries a handgun for self-defense. A life-long outdoorsman, he regularly recreates on Corps-managed lands in Idaho, including Dworshak Dam and Reservoir on the North Fork Clearwater River.

More news on the case can be found here.

If You Want To Donate, Here Are Some Better Groups

Jonathan Lowy of the Brady Center recently sent out the e-mail seen below crowing about going three for three in court cases involving certain semi-automatic rifles whose cosmetics horrify the gun prohibitionists. He is referring to cases that challenged new state laws that created a magazine ban, an “assault weapons” (sic) ban, or both. The states involved were Connecticut, Maryland, and New York.

After the Sandy Hook tragedy where a gunman fatally shot 20 children and 6 adults, state lawmakers finally said ‘ENOUGH IS ENOUGH’ and took action.

New York, Connecticut, and Maryland made it more difficult to buy military-style assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines, so these weapons of war would never again threaten lives in our homes, schools and communities.

Unfortunately, the corporate gun lobby saw a threat to their profits and went to court to challenge these laws.

At the Brady Center’s Legal Action Project, we didn’t let these attacks on our public safety go unchallenged. We filed amicus briefs and worked closely with state officials to help them defend these life-saving laws. Law firms with our national pro bono alliance, Lawyers for a Safer America, were critical to these efforts.

WE ARE 3-for-3 SO FAR. Federal trial judges in ALL 3 STATES have upheld the new laws. Your support helped us win these victories.

But our work continues — the gun lobby is appealing the rulings, which means we’re still working hard with states and filing amicus briefs to meet the challenge. On August 5, we filed a brief in the New York case. Next week we’re filing in Connecticut.

These federal appeals cases are critically important – the rulings will set far-reaching precedents on the power of states to protect their communities from gun violence.

We need your support to preserve the victories we’ve won so far and make sure the corporate gun lobby isn’t allowed to put profits over people’s lives.

Please support the Brady Center today to help us keep our winning streak going, and protect lives in our nation’s homes, schools and communities.

With gratitude,

Jonathan Lowy
Director, Brady Center Legal Action Project

I’m surprised that Mr. Lowy didn’t include the nonsensical ruling out of Colorado which upheld the Hickenlooper mag ban.

The recent decision out of Maryland does show that certain judges who are ignorant about firearms and who have a bias against them will listen to what the Brady Center puts into their amicus briefs. Even though those of us in the gun culture consider their arguments to be “authentic frontier gibberish” we still need to counter them. Thus I donate to groups like the Second Amendment Foundation, the Mountain States Legal Foundation, and the NRA Civil Rights Defense Fund who will present the counter arguments to the Jonathan Lowy’s of the world.

I would encourage you to do the same if you can.

Morris V. Army Corps Of Engineers – Preliminary Injunction Issued

Morris et al v. US Army Corps of Engineers is a case brought in US District Court for the District of Idaho by the Mountain States Legal Foundation that sought to enjoin the Corps from prohibiting firearms on Corps-administered lands. The case was brought in August 2013 on behalf of Elizabeth Morris and Alan Baker who wanted to have functional firearms for self-defense while camping, hiking, and boating on Corps-administered lakes in Idaho. On Friday, Chief Judge B. Lynn Winmill issued a preliminary injunction against the Corps and in favor of the plaintiffs’ request to have functional firearms on Corps-administered property.

The argument before the court was whether Corps regulations that prohibited a loaded, functional firearm unless hunting or at a target range violated the Second Amendment. To evaluate this, Judge Winmill used the two-step analysis established in the recent 9th Circuit decision in US v Chovan. First, the court had to determine whether “the challenged law burdens conduct protected by the Second Amendment.” The second step was to determine the appropriate level of scrutiny.

The plaintiffs had argued that a tent is a temporary residence and should be entitled to the same protections one would have in a more permanent dwelling. Noting that the Supreme Court in Heller had held that the home is the place where the need for self-defense is most acute, Judge Winmill agreed with the plaintiffs that a tent is a temporary residence entitled to the same protections.

The same analysis applies to a tent. While often temporary, a tent is more
importantly a place – just like a home – where a person withdraws from public view, and seeks privacy and security for himself and perhaps also for his family and/or his property.
Indeed, a typical home at the time the Second Amendment was passed was cramped and
drafty with a dirt floor – more akin to a large tent than a modern home. Americans in
1791 – the year the Second Amendment was ratified – were probably more apt to see a
tent as a home than we are today.
Heller, 554 U.S. at 605 (holding that “public
understanding” at time of ratification is “critical tool of constitutional interpretation”).
Moreover, under Fourth Amendment analysis, “tents are protected . . . like a more
permanent structure,” and are deemed to be “more like a house than a car.”
U.S. v.
Gooch, 6 F.3d 673 (9th Cir. 1993). The privacy concerns of the Fourth Amendment carry
over well into the Second Amendment’s security concerns.

The regulation at issue would ban firearms and ammunition in a tent on the Corps’
This ban poses a substantial burden on a core Second Amendment right and is
therefore subject to strict scrutiny.

 Judge Winmill then took up the issue of whether the ban on functional firearms in other places by the Corps violated the Second Amendment and, if so, what was the burden to the plaintiffs. He starts out by stating that the Supreme Court in Heller held that carry outside the home for self-defense was protected by the Second Amendment. Looking to see how other courts had dealt with this issue, he examined the 4th Circuit’s decision in US v Masciandaro and the 7th Circuit’s decision in Moore v. Madigan (and by inference, Shepard v. Madigan).

In Masciandaro, the 4th Circuit concluded that the National Park’s regulation struck a balance between public safety and self-defense and thus was permitted. By contrast, in Moore, the 7th Circuit concluded that the Illinois law was so restrictive that a balance couldn’t be struck and thus was unconstitutional.

The ban imposed by the Corps places this case closer to Moore than Masciandaro.
The Corps’ regulation contains a flat ban on carrying a firearm for self-defense purposes.
By completely ignoring the right of self-defense, the regulation cannot be saved by the
line of cases, like
Masciandaro, that upheld gun restrictions accommodating the right of

 As to scrutiny, Judge Winmill said it was unnecessary for the court to decide because the regulation failed even at intermediate scrutiny. He said the regulation designed to protect both infrastructure and the public was just too broad and could not satisfy the “reasonable fit” test. The Corps had argued that its regulations should be evaluated under a rational basis test given the 9th Circuit’s decision in Nordyke. The judge disagreed because Nordyke never discussed self-defense.

Finally, the court looked at the plaintiffs’ request for an injunction and whether it was as the Corps argued a mandatory injunction. The judge said since the plaintiffs only request a non-enforcement of a ban and did not require an affirmative action on the part of the Corps, it was not a mandatory injunction and merely a prohibitory injunction. After examining whether the plaintiffs met the standards for granting a preliminary injunction, Judge Winmill wrote:

From the discussion above concerning the motion to dismiss, it is apparent that
plaintiffs have shown a very strong likelihood of success on the merits. Moreover,
irreparable harm is likely because the plaintiffs have made out a colorable claim that their
Second Amendment rights have been threatened. See
Sanders County Republican Cent.
Committee v. Bullock, 698 F.3d 741, 744 (9th Cir. 2012) (holding that colorable claim of
constitutional violation satisfies irreparable harm element). This threat tips the balance of
equities in favor of plaintiffs because the harms complained of by the Corps could be
“addressed by a more closely tailored regulatory measure[].”
Ezell, 651 F.3d at 710. For
the same reasons, an injunction would be in the public interest.

Accordingly, the Court will grant the injunction requested by plaintiffs enjoining
the Corps from enforcing 36 C.F.R. § 327.13 as to law-abiding individuals possessing
functional firearms on Corps-administered public lands for the purpose of self-defense

Two things need to be noted here. First, this is an preliminary injunction and the Corps is entitled to an evidentiary hearing that could overturn the injunction. The second points out just how critical it is to get a body of earlier decisions affirming the Second Amendment. In this case, the judge looked at not only Heller but such cases as Ezell, Nordyke, and Moore v. Madigan to name just a few. Having this body of case law is critical for wins in future cases.

The full memorandum and order can be read here.

Morris V. US Army Corps Of Engineers

The Mountain States Legal Foundation filed suit yesterday in the US District Court for the District of Idaho challenging the US Army Corps of Engineers’ prohibition on firearms on Corps-administered lands. The plaintiffs in the case, Elizabeth Morris and Alan Baker, are residents of Idaho who wish to have functional firearms for self-defense while they are camping, boating, or hiking in Corps-administered recreational areas.

A bit of the history behind the suit from MSLF:

Ms. Morris was issued an emergency license by the Nez Perce County Sheriff to carry a concealed handgun in 2012 due to threats and physical attacks against her by a former neighbor. She regularly carries a handgun for self-defense. She uses Corps-administered public lands near the Snake River in Lewiston, Idaho, to boat with friends, regularly walks the Corps-administered paths in the area with her dog and/or her family, and must travel across Corps-administered public lands to reach Hells Gate State Park.

Mr. Baker is a NRA-Certified Home Firearm Safety, Personal Protection In The Home, Rifle, Pistol, and Shotgun Instructor, and also a Utah Concealed Firearms Instructor. He is licensed to carry a concealed handgun in Idaho, Utah, Oregon, and Arizona and regularly carries a handgun for self-defense. A life-long outdoorsman, he regularly recreates on Corps-managed lands in Idaho, including Dworshak Dam and Reservoir on the North Fork Clearwater River.

Because Corps of Engineer regulations ban functional firearms, even while camped in tents, Ms. Morris and Mr. Baker are subject to criminal prosecution if they exercise their Second Amendment rights. The Corps of Engineers did not respond to requests from MSLF seeking exemptions from its firearm ban for Ms. Morris and Mr. Baker. Also filed with their complaint is a motion for a preliminary injunction, asking the court to immediately stop enforcement of the firearms ban.

The lawsuit makes the point that when camping a tent should be considered a temporary dwelling that is treated no differently than something made from bricks and mortar. This argument was used in another successful MSLF lawsuit against the State of Nevada and their park system. Mr. Baker was the plaintiff in that case.

The plaintiffs present two claims for relief. The first alleges that by prohibiting law-abiding individuals from possessing a firearm in a temporary dwelling on Corps-administered lands, the US Army Corps of Engineers and the other defendants are violating the plaintiffs’ Second Amendment rights. The plaintiffs are asking for both declaratory and injunctive relief.

The second claim for relief in Morris et al v. US Army Corps of Engineers et al is that the Corps is again violating the plaintiffs’ Second Amendment rights by prohibiting the carrying of a functional firearm – whether openly, concealed, or in a vehicle. Again, the plaintiffs are asking for both declaratory and injunctive relief.

While the Heller decision allowed the prohibition of firearms in “sensitive areas”, I think it would be hard to argue that a campground or a lake constituted a sensitive area. They are not sensitive areas like the control house for the dam and powerhouse on Lucky Peak Lake.

The complaint in Morris et al v. US Army Corps of Engineers et al can be found here.

An Update In The Mishaga Case

The Mishaga case (originally Mishaga v. Monken but now Mishaga v. Grau et al) is a challenge to the State of Illinois’ restrictions as to who may have a Firearms Owner ID (FOID) card. The case involves a resident of Ohio who often visits friends in Illinois and wants to be legally armed in their home while there for self-protection. The convoluted nature of Illinois firearms law makes it both illegal for her to be armed without a FOID card and for her to obtain a FOID card.

The case was brought in the US District Court for the Central District of Illinois back in July 2010 by the Mountain States Legal Foundation on behalf of Ellen Mishaga. After a flurry of activity in the case in late 2010 and in 2011, the case has lain dormant despite being fully briefed. This past Friday attorney Jim Manley who represents Ms. Mishaga filed a Plaintiff’s Second Notice of Supplemental Authority.

This notice makes reference to the recently passed HB 183 which now provides for concealed carry permits in Illinois for both residents and non-residents. The possession of a FOID card is not required for a non-resident to obtain a non-resident concealed carry permit.

Defendents’ argument that there is substantial reason to discriminate against nonresidents who apply for a FOID is eviscerated by this statutory change. See Pl’s Mot. for Summ. J. at 15-18. There is no rational justification for issuing a permit to “carry a loaded…concealed firearm,” to nonresidents, 430 ILCS 66/10(c), yet at the same time deny nonresidents a FOID – and thereby deny the right to possess a functional firearm only in a home. Accordingly, the de facto residency requirement imposed by 430 ILCS 65/4(a-5) and the explicit residency requirement at 430 ILCS 65/4(a)(2)(xiv) and 430 ILCS 65/8(q) are unconstitutional.

The Second Notice concludes that the FOID Act residency requirement is a “fixed harm” that inflicts “irreparable injury.

The passage of HB 183 may be the catalyst to finally move this case to a favorable conclusion. After all this time, one could only hope so.

Bonidy v. USPS – A Win In Colorado

Judge Richard Matsch of the US District Court for the District of Colorado has ordered the US Postal Service to take all steps necessary to allow Tab Bonidy to park in the post office parking lot in Avon with a firearm in his car. This case, Bonidy et al v. USPS et al, has been through many twists and turns since it was first started in late 2010. The case was brought by attorney Jim Manley and the Mountain States Legal Foundation on behalf of Mr. Bonidy and the National Association for Gun Rights.

While this case was originally dismissed in 2011, Judge Matsch gave the plaintiffs leave to file an amended petition in April 2011. They did and this win is a result of that.

Judge Matsch in his Memorandum Opinion and Order concluded:

In sum, openly carrying a firearm outside the home is a liberty protected by the
Second Amendment. The Avon Post Office Building is a sensitive place and the ban
imposed by the USPS Regulation is a presumptively valid restriction of that liberty. The
Plaintiff has failed to present evidence to rebut that presumption. The parking lot adjacent to
the building is not a sensitive place and the Defendants have failed to show that an absolute
ban on firearms is substantially related to their important public safety objective. The public
interest in safety and Mr. Bonidy’s liberty can be accommodated by modifying the
Regulation to permit Mr. Bonidy to “have ready access to essential postal services” provided
by the Avon Post Office while also exercising his right to self-defense. Accordingly, it is

ORDERED, that the Defendants take such action as is necessary to permit Tab
Bonidy to use the public parking lot adjacent to the Avon Post Office Building with a firearm
authorized by his Concealed Carry Permit secured in his car in a reasonably prescribed
manner, and it is

FURTHER ORDERED, that the other claims of unconstitutionality of 39 C.F.R. §
232.1(l) made by Plaintiffs are denied.

Thus, while the Post Office is considered a sensitive place under the Heller dicta, the parking lot is not.

 The Mountain States Legal Foundation, as one might expect, is quite pleased with the result as well they should be.

DENVER, CO. A Colorado federal district court ruled today in favor of a Colorado man and a national gun rights group holding that a U.S. Postal Service regulation barring firearms in its parking lots violates their right to keep and bear arms under the Constitution. The district court ruled, “openly carrying a firearm outside the home is a liberty protected by the Second Amendment [and the] parking lot adjacent to [Avon’s Post Office Building] is not a sensitive place [such that] an absolute ban on firearms is substantially related to [Defendants’] important public safety objective.” Tab Bonidy, who is licensed to carry a handgun and regularly carries a handgun for self-defense, drives several miles from his home, where mail delivery is not available, to Avon to collect his mail. On arrival in Avon, however, he is barred by federal regulation from carrying a firearm, or parking his vehicle if it contains a firearm, on Postal Service land. In July 2010, Mr. Bonidy asked that the regulation be withdrawn; the Postal Service refused. Mr. Bonidy and the National Association for Gun Rights filed their lawsuit in October 2010.

“We are pleased the court struck down the Postal Service’s regulation as it applies to the Avon parking lot,” said William Perry Pendley of Mountain States Legal Foundation (MSLF); MSLF represents Mr. Bonidy and the group.

In 2007, the Postal Service renewed its total ban on firearms on Postal Service property, first promulgated in 1972:

“Notwithstanding the provisions of any other law, rule or regulation, no person while on Postal property may carry firearms, other dangerous or deadly weapons, or explosives, either openly or concealed, or store the same on Postal property, except for official purposes.”

39 C.F.R. § 232.1(l). This regulatory prohibition, which carries a fine, imprisonment for 30 days, or both, is broader than the federal statute, which prohibits private possession of firearms in federal facilities, except those firearms carried “incident to hunting or other lawful purposes.” 18 U.S.C. § 930(d)(3). This statutory exception does not apply in federal court facilities, where a total ban is enforced. 18 U.S.C. § 930(e)(1).

The Postal Service’s total ban on firearms possession impairs the right to keep and bear arms as protected by the Second Amendment even when individuals are traveling to, from, or through Postal property because the Postal Service does not allow people to store a firearm safely in their vehicles. Anyone with a hunting rifle or shotgun in his car, or a handgun in his glove compartment for self-defense, violates the Postal Service ban by driving onto Postal Service property. Thus, the ban also denies the right to keep and bear arms everywhere a law-abiding gun owner travels before and after visiting Postal Service property.

Jim Manley On The Win For Campus Carry In Colorado

Jim Manley of the Mountain States Legal Foundation was interviewed on Monday by Cam Edwards about the Colorado Supreme Court decision in favor of campus carry. In that decision, the court said that the ban on concealed carry at the University of Colorado violated the state’s Concealed Carry Act.

I think Jim made a very good point regarding campus carry in Colorado when he said that they have had almost ten years of experience with it at Colorado State University and have had no problems. That is something the gun prohibitionists don’t want you to know.

Nevada State Parks Sued Over Gun Restrictions

In what by my count is the fifth post-McDonald complaint to be filed in Federal court, the Mountain States Legal Foundation filed a lawsuit in the US District Court for Nevada, Northern Division, last week over firearm restrictions in Nevada State Parks.

According to a story in the Las Vegas Sun, 

Nevada code bans possession of a firearm in state parks unless the firearm is unloaded and inside a vehicle, or the gun owner is carrying the weapon in conformity with a state concealed weapons permit, or the gun owner is hunting in an authorized area.

The plaintiff in the lawsuit is Al Baker, a resident of Boise, ID and a law student at the University of Idaho. Mr. Baker is a NRA-certified Home Firearms Safety and Basic Pistol Instructor as well as a Utah-certified Concealed Firearms Instructor. He holds concealed carry permits for the states of Idaho, Oregon, and Utah and is an avid outdoorsman. Unfortunately for Mr. Baker, the State of Nevada does not have concealed carry reciprocity with any of those states.

In April, Mr. Baker applied for a special use permit for a group campsite at the Wild Horse State Recreation Area north of Elko, NV. His application stated that he planned to possess a loaded firearm in his tent for self-protection. At the beginning of June, he got a response from the State Recreation Area.

“Mr. Baker has been advised that, if he brings a firearm for personal protection, he will be in violation of state law,” the legal foundation said.

“Nevada’s ban on firearms prohibits Mr. Baker from possessing a functional firearm when he is camping in Nevada state parks. He must leave his firearm in his car, unloaded at all times, even in the case of a self-defense emergency. If he were to discharge a firearm in self-defense, that action would also violate the ban. The penalty for violating the Nevada firearms ban is six months imprisonment, or a $1,000 fine, or both,” the foundation said.

The lawsuit, Baker v. Biaggi et al, seeks to enjoin the Nevada Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and the State Park System from enforcing the ban on “functional firearms”, i.e. a loaded gun, and the prohibition on defensive discharge of a firearm within the parks.

This lawsuit is unique in that it argues that a tent is a temporary residence and that the same Second Amendment right that protects the right to a firearm in a residence should apply here. If the Court accepts this argument, then the Second Amendment protections should also apply to stays in hotels, motels, and other lodging as well as a RV in a campground.

The regulation on possession of a firearm in state parks across the county is varied. States such as North Carolina totally forbid it. Other states such as Tennessee allow it with a concealed carry permit but still outlaw the discharge of a firearm. Then there are states have no restrictions on either.

Judge Edward Reed, Jr. has been assigned to this case. He was appointed to the Court by Jimmy Carter and has been in Senior Status since 1992. Given his age, at least 85, I’m surprised that it was assigned to him.

You can read the complaint below.

Baker v. Biaggi Et Al – Complaint