Two gun rights organizations and three private citizens have taken the State of Pennsylvania to federal court in a challenge to the state’s restrictive carry laws that are currently operating as something of a “Catch 22” against private citizens who want to carry handguns for personal protection outside the home.
The Second Amendment Foundation and Firearms Policy Coalition filed a 64-page complaint in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania. Named as a defendant is Col. Robert Evanchick, commissioner of the Pennsylvania State Police, in his official capacity.
The case is known as Suarez v. Evanchick and may be read here.
At issue is the state statute requiring a license to carry a firearm outside the home, but under a declared emergency, people can’t get a license. Pennsylvania has essentially been under such an emergency status since 2018, the lawsuit alleges.
SAF has a keen interest in the case because two of the plaintiffs—Julio Suarez and Daniel Binderup—were helped by the foundation six years ago in an effort to restore their Second Amendment rights.
“SAF is delighted to once again be helping Julio Suarez and Daniel Binderup,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “We’re proud to have helped these men restore their Second Amendment rights in court a few years ago, and this time we’re joined by our friends at FPC and Mr. Miller.”
“As we say in the lawsuit,” he continued, “their rights to bear arms outside the home are being thwarted because of the state’s oppressive criminal statutes and a licensing system that has been closed under a declared emergency since 2018.”
At a time when the Biden-Harris administration is trying to restrict Second Amendment rights, SAF is continuing to file legal actions in an effort to undo existing restrictions. The foundation has become a legal powerhouse in recent years, and now may find the federal court playing field to have been leveled, thanks to some 200 appointments by Donald Trump.
That could be behind Thursday’s announcement that four far-left Democrats have introduced legislation to pack the Supreme Court by adding four new seats so Biden can nominate four liberal justices. Right now, the court has a solid conservative majority, and Democrats don’t like it.
Massachusetts Sen. Ed Markey, New York Congressmen Jerrold Nadler and Mondaire Jones, and Georgia Rep. Hank Johnson announced the “Judiciary Act of 2021.” Nadler insisted it is not an attempt to “pack” the high court.
But Gottlieb fired right back in a prepared statement. He called the legislation “an attempt to overturn the Supreme Court’s landmark Heller and McDonald rulings affirming the individual Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.”
With a conservative majority, the high court might accept new gun rights cases dealing with carry outside the home and whether semi-auto modern sporting rifles such as the AR-15 are protected by the Second Amendment.
“Those are gun rights issues that anti-gunners such as Markey and Nadler, and their Capitol Hill cohorts, absolutely do not want the Supreme Court to consider,” Gottlieb said. “For decades, gun prohibitionists have been fearful that good Second Amendment cases would wind up before a court populated by solid constitutionalists. Now, with the court’s present makeup, those same anti-gunners are terrified of a majority they perceive to be pro-Second Amendment and they’ve introduced this sham legislation in an effort to prevent a ruling that would favor America’s gun owners.”
It doesn’t appear the legislation will gain any traction, but if it does, Gottlieb promised there will be court action.
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