While in Pittsburgh, at the SAF Blog meet hosted by Breda, I met Miko Tempski, Director of Legal Affairs for the Second Amendment Foundation. He asked if SCOPE would be interested in joining an Amicus Brief he was putting together. I of course told him yes and here is the result of all their hard work.
The SAF Press Release
All the Briefs are filed here
And an article I put together for the SCOPE newsletter..
SCOPE Joins SAF Amicus Curiae Brief
On June 13, 2011 SCOPE joined 17 other organizations in signing an Amicus Curiae brief in Peterson v. Garcia, et al., now before the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals. This brief, filed by the Second Amendment Foundation, supports the plaintiff Gray Peterson, a Resident of the state of Washington, who cannot exercise his right to bear arms in Colorado. Colorado will not issue a permit to non-residents, and does not recognize his Washington or Florida non-resident permits. Colorado does allow open carry but it is prohibited in the city of Denver This leaves no carry option for Mr. Peterson while in Denver, thereby violating his constitutional right to carry a firearm for his protection.
You may wonder how this affects members of SCOPE and why we are involved. If won, this case will allow some form of carry for non-residents while in Colorado, including New York residents. This could result in the nullification of open carry bans, create national reciprocity of carry permits, or may just require all states to issue permits to residents and non-residents alike. Of course none of this is going to happen overnight but it will be another brick in the foundation that is needed to restore our rights.
The Supreme Court, in Heller and McDonald, recognized that the Second Amendment is a fundamental right. While the text of the Second Amendment contains “the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed,” and the court did go into what that may mean, the question before the court was, “can you ban the ownership and possession of handguns in the home for personal defense?” As most of us know, the courts answer was “No you may not ban handguns in the home!” Peterson v. Garcia could be the case that makes it to the Supreme Court and asks the question, “Can you ban the carrying of arms?” If it does go to the Supreme Court, let’s hope that they are wise enough to answer the question correctly. “No you may not ban the carrying of arms!”