Second Amendment Foundation Petitions For Writ Of Mandamus In Long-Delayed Palmer Case

Gloomy Washington DC
Second Amendment Foundation Petitions For Writ Of Mandamus In Long-Delayed Palmer Case
Second Amendment Foundation
Second Amendment Foundation

BELLEVUE, WA –-( The Second Amendment Foundation has taken the unusual step of filing a petition for a writ of mandamus in the case of Palmer v. District of Columbia, which was filed in 2009 and is still awaiting a ruling by the federal district court.

This is SAF’s case concerning right-to-carry in the District of Columbia, the last remaining jurisdiction in the nation where citizens cannot carry a firearm in any manner outside their home for personal protection. (CORRECTION: New Jersey still does not have a working carry law.)

“We realize this is a difficult step to take,” said SAF Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb, “but this case has been languishing for 1,475 days, and counting since it was ready for decision. In our case in Moore v. Madigan, challenging the carry ban in Illinois, the trial court took 172 days to rule, and the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals took 202 days to issue its ruling on the appeal. We have been waiting well over four years for a decision in the Palmer case, which was filed in August 2009, and waiting four more is not an option.”

The SAF petition was filed in U.S. District Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.

“Win or lose,” the court document states, “Petitioners are entitled to a resolution of this important case-and to an appeal. Because the district court’s failure to decide the case impedes this Court’s appellate jurisdiction, because the delay in resolving this priority civil rights case is extreme, because no reason exists to believe an opinion will issue within another four years absent this Court’s intervention, and because Petitioners lack any other remedy, a writ of mandamus should issue directing the district court to forthwith produce an appealable order with a sufficiently-elaborated opinion. Petitioners respectfully submit that seven days would suffice.”

“The lower court’s failure to decide this case acts as a sort of decision in and of itself,” the petition adds. “Justice interminably delayed is justice denied. If Petitioners are forbidden from exercising a constitutional right, and the district court never rules on their challenge to that prohibition, the right is lost.”

“SAF reluctantly took this step,” Gottlieb explained, “because we simply cannot allow our case to lie around gathering dust. We are hopeful the Court of Appeals compels a swift ruling by the District Court so that we can move on with this case, if that becomes necessary.”

The Second Amendment Foundation ( is the nation’s oldest and largest tax-exempt education, research, publishing and legal action group focusing on the Constitutional right and heritage to privately own and possess firearms. Founded in 1974, The Foundation has grown to more than 650,000 members and supporters and conducts many programs designed to better inform the public about the consequences of gun control. In addition to the landmark McDonald v. Chicago Supreme Court Case, SAF has previously funded successful firearms-related suits against the cities of Los Angeles; New Haven, CT; New Orleans; Chicago and San Francisco on behalf of American gun owners, a lawsuit against the cities suing gun makers and numerous amicus briefs holding the Second Amendment as an individual right.

Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
John Isbell

It’s hard to remain positive about our court system. The progressives in this country have a pretty good track record over the last 100 years of winning elections.Once they get in office they nominate to the courts people who will interpret the constitution the way they think it should be interpreted. This all starts at the college level where neophytes are indoctrinated and brainwashed into believing collectivism is superior to individualism. They are taught we should have collective rights, not individual rights because we as a people are not responsible enough or smart enough to be trusted with individual rights.… Read more »

Kevin McGonigal

Good call. I hope NJ seeks similar relief by arguing that the state’s firearms laws are so convoluted and arcane that the Federal effective right to purchase a firearm has been lost.

Darwin Smith

Don’t count on a favorable ruling. The court will be packed with anti-self defense men in black dresses before the Mr. Thompson leaves the office of Head of State.


gun control through no action by the court!