FPC: Courts Must Treat 2A as Real Right, Not Second-Class

US Constitution, iStock-93456039
The FPC argues that courts should treat the Second Amendment with the same respect as other fundamental rights. IMG iStock-93456039

U.S.A. -(AmmoLand.com)- Today, Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) and Firearms Policy Foundation (FPF) announced the filing of an important amicus brief in the Third Circuit Court of Appeals case, Drummond v. Township of Robinson. The brief, joined by the Madison Society Foundation, is available online at FPCLegal.org.

The Greater Pittsburgh Gun Club (GPGC) started offering firearms sales and training on rural land outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania over 50 years ago. For many of those decades, Robinson Township has resolved to shut the club down. In the 1990s, Robinson Township brought a nuisance action against GPGC, but the court determined that GPGC was not a nuisance. Then, Robinson Township brought a licensing action against GPGC but failed in court again. Now, Robinson Township has enacted an ordinance forbidding GPGC from operating for-profit, or from allowing center-fire rifle shooting on the property—but only if it is operating as a gun club. The club’s owner, William Drummond, brought this action, alleging that the new ordinance violates the Second Amendment.

“Too often people are bullied for engaging in constitutionally protected activity, so we filed this brief to explain why the court should step in and protect the exercise of Second Amendment rights,” said FPC Director of Research and brief author, Joseph Greenlee. “We are happy to help Mr. Drummond defend his rights and the rights of his clients against Robinson Township’s relentless efforts to forcibly close his gun club.”

“We’re hopeful that GPGC can soon get back to providing the public with goods and training protected by the Constitution, as it has for several decades,” Greenlee concluded.

Background

  • William Drummond’s family has operated the Greater Pittsburgh Gun Club on 265 rural acres in Robinson Township, Pennsylvania, for several decades.
  • The Township has long sought to shut the club down. It first brought a nuisance case. When that was unsuccessful and the club was determined safe, the Township went after the club for alleged licensing violations. When that didn’t work, the Township enacted restrictions prohibiting the club from operating for a profit, and prohibiting outdoor center-fire rifle shooting on the property—but only if the property is used as a gun club.
  • Drummond brought suit, arguing, among other things, that the Township’s restrictions violate the Second Amendment due to their burdens on firearms training and commerce.
  • The United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania upheld the restrictions in 2019, but without requiring the government to justify the burdens it imposed on Drummond’s club.
  • The Third Circuit Court of Appeals reversed, explaining that the District Court had to conduct a heightened scrutiny analysis before upholding the laws.
  • On remand, the District Court re-granted the same motion it had granted the first time around, again without conducting a meaningful heightened scrutiny analysis.
  • Drummond argued that the District Court improperly applied heightened scrutiny again, and emphasizing the court’s animus towards the right to keep and bear arms, asked for the case to be reassigned to a different judge on remand.
  • FPC and FPF elaborated on the District Court’s poor treatment of the Second Amendment, highlighting the many ways in which the court treated the Second Amendment differently than other enumerated rights.

Firearms Policy CoalitionFirearms Policy Coalition (www.firearmspolicy.org) is a 501(c)4 grassroots nonprofit organization. FPC’s mission is to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, especially the fundamental, individual Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms, advance individual liberty, and restore freedom. Gun owners and Second Amendment supporters can join the FPC Grassroots Army at JoinFPC.org.

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Chuck
Chuck
24 days ago

One of the biggest FU’s the Framers’ made within the Constitution, revolves around Article III and the appointment of the Chief Justice and Associate Justices. What was meant wasn’t Justices that followed Party Ideologies, but a Constitutional Ideology. As a result of their failure to specifically follow the Constitution’s Judiciary intent, appointments are political plums to be handed out for Executive and Legislative support. Section 2 of Article III, specifically PROHIBITS the Supreme Court from applying “Hypothetical” judgements (something they routinely violate on a regular basis). The other FU is lifetime appointments. Like no term limits for Representatives and Senators,… Read more »

pigpen51
pigpen51
24 days ago
Reply to  Chuck

The reason for lifetime appointments was to attempt to insulate Justices from the political fray that having to seek office every so often could bring. And for a time, it seemed to work. But of course, over the past decades, the Democrats learned that if they could not win in the legislature, then they would just try to win in the courts. Then now, after the Republicans have now learned from their same rulebook, the Democrats are not happy.

ShooterOne
ShooterOne
24 days ago

If the “Supreme Court” weren’t such cowards this issue could have been settled outright by them stating and every “governmental body” in the United States following “SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED”. At least we have Justices Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch and Clarence Thomas who were in favor of hearing at least one case. The vote should have been 9-0 for hearing a minimum of one case.

ARM UP and CARRY ON

lynnard
lynnard
24 days ago

WHEN THEY ARE ELECTED TO OFFICE THEY TAKE AN OATH TO PROTECT THE CONSTITUTION. HOW ARE THEY ALLOWED TO STAY IN OFFICE WHEN THEY BREAK THAT OATH?

JoeUSooner
JoeUSooner
24 days ago
Reply to  lynnard

@lynnard…

By breaking an oath of office, politicians are unquestionably/undeniably guilty of committing an overt act of either federal-level or state-level felony perjury. At federal level, the sentence can include death… and in some states, as well.

The answer to your question regarding the practical problem of those politicians “getting away with it” is that no district attorney (at least, not one with a functioning pair of testicles) is willing to charge/prosecute them. There is the malfunction in the system, and that is where corrective action must be applied if the problem is to be solved.

uncle dudley
uncle dudley
24 days ago

The gun club should sue the township for judicial harassment for the years of lawsuits that have been brought against it and name a hefty price in the suit for damages they have caused.
There is some things known as a grandfather clause in most laws and if it is available in this case it should be brought out.

nrringlee
nrringlee
24 days ago

This is one of many fronts on the Progressive New Left’s war on liberty via the war on guns. They will take every avenue of approach to attack, disrupt and render moot your right to keep and bear arms. Gun clubs, shooting ranges, gun stores and ammunition sales are just one of many targets for these neofascists. They stop at nothing to subvert your ability to remain a self reliant and free individual. So when do you take a stand?

Mystic Wolf
Mystic Wolf
24 days ago
Reply to  nrringlee

That time has already come, and if the people do nothing then in the coming election we will lose everything including the country. The satan worshipping DEMONcrats that are in office at this time are planning to finish the Nation off they plan to stab the country in the heart. The DEMONcrats master satan is moving and extreme civil disobedience gas already started . Keep your eyes open and watch for the signs they will be easy to see.

Cyph
Cyph
24 days ago
Reply to  nrringlee

This is not a Left vs. Right problem… this is a Libertarian vs. Authoritarian problem. The sooner the 2A community can acknowledge this, the sooner the 2A community can start winning its firarems rights back.

Deplorable Bill
Deplorable Bill
25 days ago

This nation is founded on Judeo-Christian Scripture. Part of this reads; “If a man has no sword (the assault weapon of that day) then he should sell his cloak (his outer garment) and buy one.”. Luke 22:36 It should be noted that the LORD HIMSELF said this. Besides being a natural RIGHT, our forefathers put it into law as the 2nd amendment. The RIGHT to keep and bear arms is the last hope we have that assures we retain all of our other GOD given, constitutionally protected RIGHTS. Therefore we cannot, we must not surrender our firearms, ammunition, magazines and… Read more »

gregs
gregs
25 days ago

i believed you errored in your interpretation of scripture, Jesus was telling his disciples of his upcoming crucifixion and letting them know that their future would also face a dangerous future.
but, i agree with the rest of what you posted. our future is also a dangerous one especially with tyrants who want to take away the freedoms our founding fathers created in the Constitution.

Deplorable Bill
Deplorable Bill
23 days ago
Reply to  gregs

Gregs, thank you for your reply. Luke 22:36 actually IS a mandate to bear arms. JESUS had just asked them if they were short on anything the last time HE sent them out. In 36 HE was clearly telling them to arm up. HE did know what was coming later that night and the next day. HE knew they were going to be hunted by the Romans along with the temple priests.

I hope this clears it up some.

Arm up and carry on.

RoyD
RoyD
23 days ago
Reply to  gregs

The founding fathers did not “create” our freedoms. They enumerated them. There is a distinct difference between the meanings of those two words.

Mystic Wolf
Mystic Wolf
24 days ago

You are right about that of course. This country is in more danger than people really know, those that are trying to take our rights from are not people but they are in fact demons, just look at the eyes they are black as coal. JESUS said you will know your enemies by their works, well every DEMONcrat is working to destroy this nation on multiple levels, they have for the most part shut down the churches, they have put a stop to almost all religious gatherings except for a very selective few. The demons that are in congress are… Read more »

Green Mtn. Boy
Green Mtn. Boy
26 days ago

Courts Must Treat 2A as Real Right, Not Second-Class

Roberts has just proven that is not going to be a reality.impeach/remove or replace.

nrringlee
nrringlee
24 days ago
Reply to  Green Mtn. Boy

If they do not, then the ultimate power and authority in America, The People, will not treat the courts as Real Courts reading Real Law. Simple solution.

tetejaun
tetejaun
26 days ago

The Second Amendment is an inalienable, God-given Right. It is absolute, regardless what an anti-America democrat SCOTUS says.(READ the Federalist Papers).
All ‘gun control laws’ are unconstitutional.
They only work because Americans are too cowardly to ignore them.
It is easier to kneel than to stand.

Heck, Americans are so lazy, they won’t vote! In 2016, only 43% of Republicans voted. That other 57% was too busy watching TV and continuing the expansion of their butts and bellies, to vote for Freedom and Liberty.
The country, and Rights, you lose will be your own.

Last edited 26 days ago by tetejaun
GUNFUN
GUNFUN
25 days ago
Reply to  tetejaun

They only work because most Americans are too cowardly to ignore them.

Ansel Hazen
Ansel Hazen
26 days ago

Why has the gun club stopped this activity? Whatever happened to innocent until proven guilty? The burden should be upon the township to prove their ordinance is legal before the club must cease and desist.

GUNFUN
GUNFUN
25 days ago
Reply to  Ansel Hazen

That’s not really what was meant by “innocent until proven guilty”.