Website for Chicago gun case
Here it is. Plaintiffs are local residents, the Ill. State Rifle Ass'n and Second Amendment Foundation. Attorneys are Alan Gura and the legal team that won in Heller. They certainly wasted no time!
Yes we did win
Please remember that NRA did everyting it could to kill this lawsuit.
NRA also brought us the 86 ban on mg's and agrees with the continuation of ATFE (see JPFO.org)
please remember this in future lawsuits.
Posted by: David M. McCleary at June 26, 2008 07:10 PM
It was my understanding from news reports that the suit was filed literally minutes after the announcement of the decision. One imagines they were standing at the courthouse watching their Blackberries.
The explosion from the powers-that-be here in the Windy City was a wonder to behold.
Coupled with the ISRA/IllinoisCarry rally in front of the downtown State of Illinois building in a scant two weeks, it certainly has become a more interesting place to live.
The anti-gun nature of the local news media, though, has exceeded even the bounds of bad taste and advocacy-mongering.
The big newsradio station, WBBM-780AM is blanketing the airwaves with an avalanche of anti-gun posturings, ravings, and recycled news stories of every shooting for the last several days.
Strange days, indeed.
Posted by: W.P. Zeller at June 26, 2008 07:30 PM
I would like to take a short bit of space to thank all those that contributed to the win. A great job, done in the service of your country.
A heartfelt thank you.
Posted by: bill-tb at June 26, 2008 07:44 PM
Look, we all need to lay off the NRA on Heller. The NRA was not alone in thinking that the Heller case was not the one to bring. Glenn Reynolds thought it was the wrong case to bring, as did many others, including me. Glenn has pointed out publically that Gura/Levy were right and he was wrong. But it was a near run thing. I remember hearing about the filing of the case and thinking: "Oh geez, they don't have a chance."
However, lets remember that like Waterloo, this was a near run thing. Heller lost in the D.C. district court. The D.C. Circuit reversed the district court 2-1 (God bless Judge Silberman). The SCOTUS granted cert and ruled 5-4 in favor of our side. However, wins do not get any closer than this. This thing could easily, EASILY, have gone the other way and then everyone would be saying what idiots Gura/Levy were we would be faced with every gun control proposal imaginable and wondering if we could get passed an Amendment clearly stating an individual right.
The time for finger pointing and name calling is over. The time now is for the careful filing of carefully crafted lawsuits. And a first jump out of the chute challenge to 922(o) is not a good idea at this time. At least not in my view.
Posted by: Letalis Maximus, Esq. at June 26, 2008 08:19 PM
Well Max, read up and tell us what you think. Gura is on the case and this is the WHOLE ENCHILADA. Incorporation!
Posted by: RKV at June 26, 2008 08:48 PM
Is anyone worried by the fact that the judge the Chicago case was filed with is a Carter appointee?
Couldn't they have found a Reagan or Bush judge to submit the case to?
I know that it will end up in the 7th ct anyway and that court is 8-3 GOP but still, it would have been nice to start off with a win.
There's no way this Carter judge will do anything about the ban
Posted by: jack at June 26, 2008 08:48 PM
Alan Gura National Road Tour!
Posted by: Mad Saint Jack at June 26, 2008 08:56 PM
In most courts, it is simply the luck of the draw what judge you get. In some courts, if the clerks like you and think you're cute and are trying to get into your pants, you might be able to get them to tell you which judge is up next. Some courts have "related case" local rules that allow you to get similar cases all filed in front of the same judge. The D.C. district court has such a rule.
Posted by: Letalis Maximus, Esq. at June 26, 2008 09:19 PM
I wondered what Alan Gura would do next. I guess he is making a career out of this.
Posted by: Jim W at June 27, 2008 04:09 AM
I don't know how much contact you have had with NRA and gun litigation and legislation. NRA is no friend to gun owners. They talk a big game but are not there when it counts. The actions they took in Heller are very typical. For example, I was litigating a case in Michigan regarding the AWB and NRA was involved. They did everything they could to scuttle the case. It was clear that they had no intention of actually trying to win. Same tactics as in Heller.
They basically blessed the 86 mg ban. My understanding is that it did little to stop the AWB legislation. It currently has a board member that cannot understand why anyone would want an "evil black rifle". Here in MI they touted the Castle doctrine law as a big deal and a change in the law--There was no change they simply codified the common law. But they made it sound as if they had done something really big--nonsense. They were involved in the "shall issue" CPL law here. I was also involved as a lobbyist at the time. NRA was more concerned about getting a statute passed then with what it provided and we ended up with a CPL statute that is not very gun owner friendly. We are currently trying to change the law on SBR/SBS and the process to purchase a pistol (here in Michigan we must seek permission to exercise a constitutional right but that is another story). NRA is nowhere to be seen (we are probably better off). Bottom line is NRA has a poor history of actually promoting real gun reform because they are to worried about compromising on major gun issues.
I am still a life member of NRA and was a founder of my local Friends of NRA. But I have seen what they have done and can no longer support them. When NRA actually steps up to the plate and starts really fighting for gun owners I will again support them, but until they prove they are willing to do so, my support will go to organizations that say what they mean and mean what they say (ie JPFO and GOA). We need to stop compromising on the gun issue and start fighting for real reform.
I agree that "The time now is for the careful filing of carefully crafted lawsuits. And a first jump out of the chute challenge to 922(o) is not a good idea at this time. At least not in my view." But if NRA wants my support they need to take a lesson from Heller and start "carefully crafting lawsuits", stop their elitist attitude and join the fight here in the trenches. I also note that in the post right after yours that Mr. Gura has started the fight in Chicago. NRA is announcing how they are going to get involved. Again a day late and a dollar short.
Posted by: David M. McCleary at June 27, 2008 04:47 AM
Big organizations don't fight guerilla wars very well.
Posted by: Letalis Maximus, Esq. at June 27, 2008 05:12 AM
You may be unaware of this, but there is an enormous body of law on the books (a good portion of it favorable supreme court rulings on the NFA) that were accomplished by Stephen Halbrook and the NRA Legal Defense Fund people. US v Staples, US v Printz and the Thompson Center short barreled rifle ruling come to mind immediately but there were other cases. The NRA has been responsible for a lot of important legal victories but the media doesn't trumpet them.
The NRA is out there and it is fighting, but it doesn't take crazy risks. We got very lucky with this case. If Gura's suit had landed at scotus two years sooner (during the O'Connor/Rehnquist years) or two years later (for example, if Scalia retires during an Obama presidency) we could easily have lost this case. The NRA opposed this case because it appeared likely that we were going to get to the supreme court and face 4 liberals, 3 conservatives and 2 wishy-washy moderates. But we got very lucky and were handed a 4-1-4 with Kennedy on our side. Could you have guaranteed O'Connor's vote in our favor? I wouldn't bet on it.
Posted by: Jim W at June 27, 2008 06:56 AM
The NRA blessed the overall FOPA, of which the 86 ban was only a small part. The FOPA hurt the ATF a lot more than it hurt gun owners.
I want to collect post-86 MGs more than most people, but I don't hold the 86 ban against the NRA. Gun control had much more political support and the 86 ban was the price they had to pay to build a strong future. We will eventually win and eventually get back everything we gave up earlier. Only a matter of time IMO.
Posted by: Jim W at June 27, 2008 07:01 AM
"I don't hold the 86 ban against the NRA."
Well, I for one along with many others do. Their actions then were a stab in the back and looking back at it 22 years later it is still a stab in the back.
The only thing the NRA can be depended on to do is what it takes to rake in the money for them and gun owners be damned if they get in the way. I have been a life member since 1983 and since 1986 not one dime has left my hand going to theirs.
Posted by: Jim at June 27, 2008 07:12 AM
If you skip over to the NRA website they are running with this as if they and they alone were the ones that pushed this case through the courts. What scum to take credit for something others did.
Posted by: Jim K at June 27, 2008 08:53 AM
I did a George H.W. Bush on them, but for more honorable reasons. I don't associate with untrustworthy people once I know they are.
Posted by: straightarrow at June 27, 2008 10:25 AM
""I wondered what Alan Gura would do next. I guess he is making a career out of this.""
Lets hope so...such a career is a consummation devoutly to be wished...and may he win them all.
Posted by: doug in colorado at June 27, 2008 10:31 AM
I'll ask this again (no one on any forum has been able to give an example): name one major Federal anti-gun law which passed without the NRA's blessing, except for the AW ban.
I do not belong to America's most effective gun control organization in actual measurable deeds (unless I need it for range access). I certainly have no interests in enriching their PR/snail mailing firm that seems to have captured them in a weird variation of regulatory capture.
The NRA Legal Defense Fund? Maybe, but any part of the NRA is presumptively working against my interests. Maybe I'll put them on the list, after Academics for the 2nd Amendment (which got my only Heller donation from my now very limited funds), whatever Mr. Gura is working on (Parker was a crazy risk as discussed above, but we had to try, and you can't argue with success...), the GOA ... that'll soak up all I can afford for the foreseeable future.
Posted by: hga at June 27, 2008 11:32 AM
Standing at the courthouse? I'm surprised the Cook County politico-thugs didn't roll them up into a limo destined for a cement plant...
Posted by: DirtCrashr at June 27, 2008 11:36 AM
They NRA is an incrementalist group. When you're losing, the only effective strategy is to slow down your opponent's victories. If you go for the perfect outcome when you can't deliver it, you just lose and get nothing. See Ron Paul for a prime example. He proposes abolishing all federal gun control every year. He has been doing it for decades. But the NRA goes out and makes concessions and slowly moves things in the right direction. As a result of groups like the NRA, we are ahead of where we were 20 years ago.
You also have to remember that until about 10 years ago, the NRA (and gun owners as a political group) was widely panned as an inconsequential roadbump on the path to total gun banning. That the NRA was able to accomplish the FOPA at all in such unfavorable circumstances is a testament to their effectiveness.
This is just how the game is played:
-don't scare white people. The GOA is a prime offender here. Most of the times they open their mouths, I cringe and regret ever sending them money.
-make progress in baby steps because society changes slowly.
-make progress in ways the antis are unlikely to respond to. I still meet people who have no idea that CCW even exists, but every year it adds reams of statistics helpful to our cause
-try to win a thousand small victories instead of one big one. The AWB was a prime example of winning "one big one"- it was a big enough change that all the gun owners noticed their interests were in danger. They suddenly began to care about politics. We want to avoid giving a similar victory to the antis by creating enemies for ourselves.
As an example of this, imagine if we had gotten a big victory in Heller that included incorporation, bearing arms, machine guns and all manner of other prohibitions against gun control. Instead of threatening the interests of CA, NY, IL, NJ, MA, HI, DC, etc, we would have potentially threatened laws in many PRO GUN areas. Why create enemies in Florida and Texas because you want to have a maximalist approach to the 2nd amendment. The trick is to eat the elephant one bite at a time. Beat DC, Chicago, Detroit and NYC into submission, then move on to bigger fish. Under no circumstances should you piss off 90+ percent of the municipalities and states in the country.
Posted by: Jim W at June 27, 2008 11:49 AM
I'm wondering (admittedly without reading anything more than what's on this site): will the plaintiffs in Illinois face the same standing problem that caused the DC courts to dismiss all plaintiffs except Heller?
Posted by: wrangler5 at June 27, 2008 12:25 PM
As a guess, I'd think that the Chicago plaintiffs would have less problems with standing since all of the individuals involved applied for handgun applications (and a couple rifle registrations also) and were refused.
Posted by: jesse at June 27, 2008 01:38 PM
Interestingly enough, one of the plaintiffs purchased a rifle through the federal Civilian Marksmanship Program which ships directly to your door without going through a FFL. He was informed in email that his application had been granted one day before the rifle arrived at his house. He relocated the rifle out of the city of Chicago and attempted to register the rifle, but his application was denied.
Posted by: jesse at June 27, 2008 01:43 PM
WHY WON'T THE POLS IN CHICAGO,, D.C., AND ELSEWHERE ADMIT WHAT THE REAL ISSUE IS WITH HANDGUNS??
Posted by: HOWIE at June 27, 2008 05:52 PM
As for myself, Incorporation is a good place to start. The BATF's so called "Sporting Use" rule would be good as well, But how would you get at it? Those guys make up the rules as they go along and the Rules have the effect of Law. Separation of Powers violation in that they make the law, Interprete the Law and wield power to enforce the law. The ridiculous SBR/SBS and AOW stuff that they thought was important enough to Murder a man's wife over a 200.00 Tax.
Posted by: Dave at June 28, 2008 05:48 PM
I was a very strong supporter of the NRA in the early 80s but after learning how the money is spent I stopped donating.
When the control of the NRA returns to the membership and not Uncle Wayne I will support it until that time I will only view the NRA as a money maker for the elitists that control it now. As it stands now the average NRA member is considered nothing but dirt on their shoes.
Posted by: Jim K at June 29, 2008 05:39 AM