Buckeye Firearms Foundation Files Brief in D.C. Gun Ban Case

    The police can never be everywhere at once, and simple logic dictates that the one best able to resist criminal attack is the one being attacked. The victim will always be present at the time of the crime; the police will almost never be present, serving instead to respond to the crime after it has happened. The most fundamental rights enshrined in our legal tradition were summarized as the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Those same rights are meaningless under a framework where random criminal attack is not only expected but accepted without recourse.

This paragraph perhaps best summarizes the brief that Buckeye Firearms Foundation filed in the D.C. vs. Heller gun ban case, currently pending before the United States Supreme Court.

Buckeye Firearms Foundation and a coalition of five private security trade organizations have filed a brief with the Supreme Court of the United States in what may become the most important Second Amendment case in history.

The Supreme Court agreed to hear this Second Amendment case after a lower court struck down D.C.’s ban on all functional firearms. Buckeye Firearms Foundation and the trade groups have filed a brief urging the Supreme Court to uphold the lower court decision, which ruled the gun ban was an unconstitutional violation of citizen’s Second Amendment Rights.

Unlike many groups, Buckeye Firearms Foundation and the trade groups chose to author their own brief rather than merely sign on to a brief being prepared by another group. The trade groups joining Buckeye Firearms Foundation include the National Council for Investigation and Security Services, Ohio Association of Security and Investigation Services, Michigan Council of Private Investigators, Indiana Association of Professional Investigators, and Kentucky Professional Investigators Association.

“This case is critically important to the future of gun rights throughout America,” said Delaware attorney Ken Hanson, who authored the brief with Attorney Mike Moran and Attorney Ramon Santini. “For better or worse, this case is going to have the same impact on gun rights as Miranda v. Arizona had on criminal rights. It will truly be a landmark decision.”

The historic document is what is commonly referred to as a “Brandeis Brief,” which is a detailed argument based on real-world experience rather than legal technicalities. Other briefs address the words of the Second Amendment and various precedents, original intent and other similar approaches. The goal was to ensure that no work was duplicated or wasted.

The Buckeye Firearms Foundation brief, co-authored by Attorney Ken Hanson, Attorney Ramon Santini and Mike Moran, is focused on the historical examples of corruption, mismanagement, victimization and general lack of effective policing in the District of Columbia. The overwhelming reaction by those who read the brief has been one of shock – “I knew it was bad, but had no idea just how bad it was.”

The brief extensively documents the failures of D.C.’s Metropolitan Police Department and the District Government to protect the citizens they have disarmed. The brief also examines how the courts simultaneously granted immunity to the District and the police for failing to protect the citizens, ruling that no citizen has a right to protection from the police.

“When the police department has failed to the point that your city leads the nation in most crime categories, and when the courts refuse to hold the government liable for these failures, citizens have no choice but to defend themselves,” says Hanson. “The Supreme Court must interpret the Second Amendment as guaranteeing the fundamental, individual right to keep and bear arms for defense of self and others.”

The brief then examines how the courts have failed to hold the District liable for even the most egregious failures. No matter how shocking the incompetence or corruption, the courts have declined to impose any liability on the District. The picture painted by the first two sections of the brief is not pretty: The District has completely disarmed their citizens, rendering them helpless. The District suffers a huge crime problem, leading the nation in most categories. The police and the government within the District barely function, and the courts decline to hold the police and the government accountable for these failures.

Given this framework, the strong public policy in favor of being free from criminal attack demands that the Court find the Second Amendment as guaranteeing the individual right to keep and bear firearms for defense of self and others. The alternative would be for the court to condone government-created and empowered victimization.

The brief is just under 9,000 words of argument, and you are encouraged to read the entire brief to understand just how bad things are in D.C.

Donations from readers like you supported this brief; we hope you enjoy it.

Click here to download a PDF of the brief.

The official name of the case is District of Columbia v. Heller. Arguments for the case are scheduled for March 18, 2008, and a decision is expected by the end of June.

Donate to Buckeye Firearm Foundation today to support our work in this historic case.

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Buckeye Firearms Association is a grassroots organization dedicated to defending and advancing the right of citizens to own and use firearms for all legal activities, including self-defense, hunting, competition, and recreation. Read more.