February 25, 2024
GOA Files New Case Against New York's CCIA, iStock-697763642
The Second Amendment Foundation will hit a milestone in 2024, it’s 50th anniversary. iStock-697763642

The Second Amendment Foundation is about to celebrate a milestone—its 50th anniversary (founded in August 1974) —and as the organization moves into 2024, it does so with a full head of steam that has placed it at the forefront of gun rights litigation across the country.

SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb has become a nationally recognized leader in the Second Amendment movement. SAF’s motto is “Winning Firearms Freedom, One Lawsuit at a Time.” During the past year, SAF has moved the ball ahead, with victories in California, West Virginia, New York, Texas, Maryland and elsewhere. The group works with some of the best attorneys in the country, specializing in Second Amendment cases.

By Gottlieb’s count, SAF has at least 55 legal actions currently in progress, and more are on the horizon. Simply put, SAF is redefining the term “Full Court Press.”

For example, on Dec. 21, a federal judge in California issued a preliminary injunction against the state’s “sensitive places” law in a case known as May v. Bonta. Other plaintiffs in the case are Gun Owners of America, Gun Owners Foundation, Gun Owners of California, the California Rifle & Pistol Association and eleven private citizens.

That win came just days after a federal appeals court in New York struck down an Empire State law requiring private property owners to post signs allowing concealed carry on property open to the public as part of a massive decision dealing with several separate challenges of the Empire State’s post-Bruen gun control legislation.

December started with a win in a SAF case known as Brown v. ATF, in which U.S. District Chief Judge Thomas S. Kleeh, a Donald Trump appointee, at the Northern District of West Virginia held that the prohibition on handgun sales to young adults in the 18-20-year age class is “facially unconstitutional…as applied to Plaintiffs.” His 40-page ruling probably gave anti-gunners headaches.

The list could go on and on. SAF’s gold star case so far was its June 2010 landmark Supreme Court victory in McDonald v. City of Chicago, a ruling which left many in the media flustered because they had considered the gun rights movement to be one big monolithic block of social Neanderthals known generically as “NRA.” During the past dozen years, however, the establishment media has learned there is more than one organization fighting on the front lines to defend the right to keep and bear arms.

Indeed, SAF has been in the trenches, not just with litigation but education. Along with its sister organization, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, SAF has sponsored and hosted the annual Gun Rights Policy Conference. This event attracts grassroots activists and leading Second Amendment advocates from across the country for a weekend of panel discussions, reports on litigation and legislation, and the thing gun prohibitionists fear the most: networking by pro-rights activists.

SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb.

Certainly related to this issue was the October federal court victory in California when U.S. District Judge John W. Holcomb granted a preliminary injunction against Golden State statutes prohibiting gun shows at the Orange County Fairgrounds and on state-owned property. In this case, SAF was joined by &L Productions (Crossroads of the West), the California Rifle & Pistol Association, Asian Pacific American Gun Owners Association, the Second Amendment Law Center and four private citizens.

In his ruling, Judge Holcomb—another Trump appointee—wrote, “Here, the Court finds sufficient evidence that SB 264 and SB 915 have a viewpoint-discriminatory purpose. Legislative history shows that the goal of the two statutes is to end gun shows in California, and, while the opinions and statements of legislators are not dispositive of viewpoint discrimination…those statements are circumstantial evidence that the statutes disfavor the lawful commercial speech of firearm vendors.”

Remarking on this case, SAF Executive Director Adam Kraut, a practicing attorney based in Pennsylvania, observed, “Judge Holcomb’s opinion catalogues the unconstitutionality of California’s law in an exacting manner, finding it violates the First and Second Amendments, as well as the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The State’s attempt to ban gun shows on state property could not rightfully withstand constitutional scrutiny and we are pleased with the Court’s decision.”

Back in September, when New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham issued an unconstitutional edict banning the right to bear arms in Albuquerque and surrounding Bernalillo County, SAF was one of the first groups to march into federal court challenging her ban. It didn’t take U.S. District Judge David H. Urias, a Joe Biden appointee, long to issue a temporary restraining order, which put another star in SAF’s win column.

In August, SAF took a bold step by announcing its “Capture the Flag” project, which focuses on abuses and misapplication of “Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO)” statutes which have been adopted by 21 states and the District of Columbia. These are the so-called “red flag” laws which raise concerns among many in the gun rights community about due process, or a lack thereof.

“Capture the Flag,” according to SAF’s Kraut, will initially focus on “Red Flag” laws in six states: California, Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Washington.

Looking ahead to their Golden Anniversary observance, there is also good reason for SAF and its 720,000-plus members and supporters to look back as well. Over the years, according to a note on SAF’s website, the group has been involved in more than 260 court cases.

From all indications, the Bellevue, Washington-based group is just getting started.


About Dave Workman

Dave Workman is a senior editor at TheGunMag.com and Liberty Park Press, author of multiple books on the Right to Keep & Bear Arms, and formerly an NRA-certified firearms instructor.

Dave Workman

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