NRA Files “Friend of the Court” Briefs in Two Right-To-Carry Cases

NRA Files “Friend of the Court” Briefs in Two Right-To-Carry Cases


FAIRFAX, Va. –-( NRA has filed friend of the court briefs in two separate cases involving the right to carry firearms outside the home for self-defense.

In Shepard v. Madigan, currently pending in the U. S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois, the lead plaintiff is church treasurer Mary Shepard, who, along with an elderly co-worker, was severely beaten at her workplace by an attacker with a criminal record. Mrs. Shepard has carry permits issued by two other states, but was left unarmed and defenseless by Illinois’ law. Her challenge — in which the Illinois State Rifle Association, NRA’s state affiliate, also joins as a plaintiff — contends that Illinois’ carry ban cannot stand in light of the Heller and McDonald decisions.

In Richards v. Prieto, currently pending in the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in California, plaintiffs brought suit against Yolo County, Calif. Sheriff Ed Prieto for his refusal to issue carry permits to law-abiding applicants. The case was first heard in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California, where the court ruled for the sheriff.

In both cases, the NRA, as the leading organization in the nation advocating for gun owners’ rights and specifically in advocating for the passage of right-to-carry laws in the states, has lent its expertise on the issue by filing briefs in strong support of the right to carry.

The briefs stress that the right to carry is an important part of the fundamental right of self-defense. Additionally, the briefs counter the arguments that permit holders are a public safety threat. Specifically, the brief responds to Brady Campaign claims that passage of right-to-carry laws lead to increases in crime. In fact, the briefs show not only that crime does not increase in right-to-carry states, but that right-to-carry laws contribute to a reduction in crime.