Second Amendment Foundation condemns media bias
courtesy SAF
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Three good court rulings in the last week. Here’s the Second Amendment Foundation’s press release trumpeting the wins . . .

BELLEVUE, WA – Three victories in three Second Amendment-related cases—two from New York and one from Wisconsin—is good news for gun rights, the Second Amendment Foundation said today.

“This should be tantamount to ‘three strikes and you’re out’,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “Gun control took three hard punches and should be down for the count.”

He was alluding to the following cases:

·      The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled against New York City in its attempt to stay a challenge to that city’s handgun law that prevents gun owners from taking their handguns outside of their homes or the city. The Court has already granted review of the case.

·      The Wisconsin State Supreme Court dismissed a lawsuit against Armslist LLC that alleged the popular website was liable for the acquisition of a gun by Radcliffe Haughton in October 2012. Haughton was subject to a restraining order at the time. The state high court ruled 5-1 that Armslist LLC is protected from liability by the federal Communications Decency Act. Haughton used the gun to murder his wife and two of her co-workers.

·      The New York State Supreme Court dismissed two SAFE Act charges against a man convicted of selling a firearm to an undercover officer in 2014. The SAFE (for Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement) is an extreme gun control act championed by anti-gun-rights Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

“In New York’s cases,” Gottlieb observed, “the court rulings should be a clear signal that the state, and New York City, have taken gun control to unacceptable extremes. They need to be reined in.

“The Wisconsin case should never have been filed in the first place,” he added. “The federal law is supposed to prevent such legal actions, and the Armslist case shows why.

“Gun rights court victories are like seeds,” Gottlieb said. “They grow into big legal precedents.”

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.

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  1. I hate that term “gun rights”. Guns don’t have any rights. I can only speak for myself, but I’m in this for Civil Rights generally and specifically the right of every citizen to own and carry (or not) whatever firearms they choose.

    It might be a nit-picky point, but language matters. No more “gun rights”. Just Second Amendment rights.

    • Yep, but what bugs me even more is the phrase “killed by guns.” No one was killed by a gun, ever! Killed with a gun, sure, but never by one. A gun is a tool, don’t use the language of the gun ban crowd, and you won’t look like a tool.

      • By the way, if you use Amazon at all (or your wife does) set up with to direct donations to the SAF. Costs you nothing and puts a little money their way.

    • Gun rights is more accurate than second amendment rights, and as shorthand for the right to keep and bear arms, is perfectly clear in intent.

      • ” Gun rights is more accurate than second amendment rights ”

        Sorry, I don’t see it. Care to expand that a little?

        • Chip will probably give you a better answer….

          “It might be a nit-picky point, but language matters. No more “gun rights”. Just Second Amendment rights.”

          Yes, it is nit-picky, and flies in the face of common usage. The anti-gun crowd owns the language of gun control. Nothing to be done about it. Another consideration is that gun rights and Second Amendment rights are not actually discussing the same issue.

          Gun rights is addressing the moral high ground regarding private ownership and use of firearms. Second Amendment rights addresses the constitution, and thus the natural rights of humans. The leftists do not recognize natural human rights, and will not discuss gun ownership in those terms. Gun-grabbers see gun rights as a privilege granted and restricted by government as is convenient (and safe). Such a stance refused to acknowledge the legitimacy of a constitution founded on human rights with which they do not agree.

          Gun rights is actually an emotional term, whereas Second Amendment rights is a term based on the logic of natural human rights. Like it or not, to persuade, one must use language common to the audience to be persuaded (basic salesmanship). Once you have agreement of your audience, only then can you begin to educate them to use a different vocabulary common to the position the audience has been moved to. And upon which you can expand.

        • Simply put, the second amendment doesn’t grant or confer rights; rather, it acknowledges and protects rights that pre-exist the constitution. To say that the rights in question are “second amendment” rights implies that those rights come from the second amendment, or that the rights in question involve the “second amendment.”

          To say “gun rights” is to imply that the rights in question involve… guns – which they do, because the rights in question are the right to keep and to bear arms.

        • The difference, if you want to get technical and “nit picky”, is that, to steal from computer terminology, one is a class and the other is an object or a subclass within the larger class.

          Second Amendment Rights is the class. It refers to your inalienable right to own “arms”.

          Gun rights is the object, or subclass, which refers to your right to own a particular type of arms, specifically firearms.

          The terms are not interchangeable in both directions. While 2A Rights always covers “Gun Rights”, because that’s the subclass of arms covered by the 2A, the term “Gun Rights” is not interchangeable with “Second Amendment Rights” because gun rights doesn’t cover your right to own a knife, sword, morning star, trebuchet, ballista, cannon, tank, knuckles, atlatl etc.

          The cases here specifically dealt with firearms, a type of arm, and therefore are both 2A and gun rights wins but are better referred to as gun rights wins because that removes any suggestion that they might cover another type of arm under the 2A but not a gun.

          Therefore Chip is right, they’re wins on gun rights specifically rather than a general win for the 2A and therefore “gun rights” is a more accurate description because the cases were neither about general arms nor a specific class or type of arms outside of firearms.

          • Great !

            All the years spent with software companies and I didn’t think to make that comparison.


    • Thank you. It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it. Words have value and meaning.

    • Some of the folks demanding their 2A rights do need to change how they speak. Especially those with a large forum.

      I also get tired of ppl not pointing out that NO gun control law will every prevent a criminal from obtaining a firearm. You’d be surprised how often this point isn’t made clearly.

      Do NOT use the language of your enemy or you will already have lost ground to them.
      Be very clear about what gun laws do and do not do and how all of them have failed to stop one shooting where multiple ppl are injured by a criminal.

      The idea that all gun owners are not criminals must be stressed as the other side will continue to equate the NRA, Gun nuts and other spokes people will criminals.
      They get their cues from the media and the media are trained propagandists.
      Words can be twisty things in peoples mind. They seem to say one thing but hatch into a different perception in the mind. This is propaganda and all leftists use it.

      • “Words can be twisty things in peoples mind.’

        Using words the audience does not understand does not provide a winning argument. Indeed, the gun grabbers don’t even bother to address “criminals” in gun control efforts. This appears to be an opening pro-gun forces can exploit using facts, math and logic (which is of no meaning to gun grabbers). Indeed, this “weakness” seems to attract an overabundance of interest/attention; wrong target, wrong time, wrong argument.

        What is it the gun grabbers really fear? Drive-by shootings? Dark night in sketchy places? Da’ Hood? None of these. Gun grabbers are of a sort, and they discount all these locations prone to robbery and personal attack. What gun grabbers fear is the rest of humanity. No one knows which normal-looking person is actually a crazy. Gun grabbers know they aren’t crazy, and know their friends are not crazy, but they cannot be certain you and I arent’t crazy.

        Gun grabbers read and watch “the news”, just like us. They see what we dismiss…the vast majority of mass/random shootings do not happen in all those sketchy places listed above. Random mass shootings happen in places where normal people go routinely: malls, theaters, concerts, schools. And the mass shootings are rarely carried out by people of color (indeed, there have been so few mass shootings in inner city schools that it is difficult to bring one to mind). The people who are most likely to be in the places just mentioned are not MS-13, or Crips and Bloods, or whatever. Thus, gun grabbers fear the young white male, and other crazies who may be walking alongside a gun grabber, bent on settling some obscure score using a gun.

        Killings of bad people by bad people is an acceptable deviation from nice society (where gun grabbers live). Killing of normal people by crazies with guns is unacceptable.

        Gun grabbers consider themselves normal, rational, reasonable people, and cannot comprehend why any normal, rational, reasonable person would want to have a gun in the first place. This makes legal gun carriers not normal, not rational, not reasonable, and an existential threat to the peace and safety of normal people. From this mindset, there can be no rational argument in support of the possession and carry of firearms in polite society. This viewpoint cannot be defeated by any amount of data and logic, because even the possibility of one crazy being nearby is an unacceptable disruption to peace and safety, the natural habitat of normal people.

        As to the argument that criminals don’t obey gun laws, gun grabbers do not consider that a detriment to the effectiveness of gun control laws because gun grabbers don’t live around criminals. As to the argument that mass shooters constantly are found to have passed background checks means checks are not strong enough, not that checks are a failure. At to the argument that more deaths and injuries can be attributed to a number of other causes has no meaning either. Almost all those circumstances of death and injury are a routine (normal) part of life; guns in the hands of the public is not normal or routine.

        Gun carriers (POTG) cannot persuade the natural audience of gun owners at large that gun controls are a serious threat to freedom, even using the same arguments attempted against gun grabbers. Why do we think making the argument more logical, rational, evidence-based will persuade the skepticism of gun grabbers? If our approach actually worked on a large scale, an overwhelming majority of the voting public would oppose gun control laws. Why has that not happened? Without any ideaof my own about how to change that, I posit that we are selling the wrong product/message to the gun grabbers. We are focused on the brute force of our clenched fist of truth, and not enough on finding avenues to the the close-minded. (a random conversion of one or two, here and there, resulting from a friendly trip to the range is not building sufficient momentum; we need something else)

    • Yeah, but did it just give an open fender slap? Or more to the point did the operator drive it into the poor defenseless tree, or did they get out and fail to set the parking brake?

      Even with an on board computer (unless Steven King wrote the script) the car is incapable of independent thought or action.

  2. Unfortunately the 2nd NY case was overturned largely on procedural grounds, rather than meritorious or Constitutional ones.

  3. So long as we must defeat these laws one-by-one, we are losing. Joyful at the three victories, but try calculating how many centuries will be required to overturn all the gun restrictions.

    • If the NY Rifle and Pistol case garners a decision that assigns strict scrutiny to all 2A cases, then a huge chunk of the extant gun control laws will be eliminated in one stroke. I understand the SC may not want to make a constitutional issue of it, but if the they do, and they decide right, it may not be a case-by-case scenario any more.

      That’s my understanding of it, anyway. Correct me if I’m wrong.

      • For some reason, the webhost believes comments here are an attack on their security protocols. Wish I could get around this.

      • I’d be interested in some elaboration on this as well. (any attorneys around?) My understanding is that if the court creates precedent that 2A restrictions require strict scrutiny, this will make it harder (but not impossible) for lower courts to decide cases in favor of restricting 2A rights. If the supreme court decides to set the strict scrutiny precedent (and they could, in fact, decide in favor of the plaintiff without establishing that precedent), this wouldn’t simply get rid of all the bad laws out there in an instant. Rather, it would open a window for a lot of cases to come forward chipping away at those laws. Those cases would have a better (but by no means guaranteed) chance of overturning some of the most restrictive and arbitrary laws. However, lower courts can still interpret laws in various ways, and if laws are successfully argued to be within the bounds of strict scrutiny then they would remain as is. Since precedent isn’t always followed, it would probably also be possible for lower courts to argue for rulings based on intermediate scrutiny as well, although this would harder to do and more likely to be eventually overturned by the supreme court. Short version: A win in this case could be a big win, but there will still be a lot to do afterward. A lot.

        This is my understanding from conversations with lawyers I know. I’m not one myself, and by no means an expert. Happy to hear analysis from someone who is.

        • Not a lawyer,however something I gleamed from a high school civics teacher is cases involving the Bill of Rights should all be viewed in the light of strict scrutiny. That said many un Constitutional laws would fall besides any and all gun laws. Think for a moment of the blatantly un Constitutional un Patriot Act all of which is a violation of “We The Peoples” 4 th. amendment rights and one of whose main authors is none other than Mr. Kavanaugh.

          • “Not a lawyer,however something I gleamed from a high school civics teacher is cases involving the Bill of Rights should all be viewed in the light of strict scrutiny.”

            Musta been before the SC invented “compelling government interest” as a bullet-proof excuse to neuter the BOR (and the entire constitution)

        • Sounds like a great place to aim a Constitutional amendment. I wonder why we don’t do that any more?! Something simple, like “The first 10 amendments shall always be considered under strict scrutiny.” That would take care of the entire problem until the meaning of “strict scrutiny” was changed, probably several weeks, at least.

          • “That would take care of the entire problem until the meaning of “strict scrutiny” was changed, probably several weeks, at least.”

            “Compelling government interest” supersedes the entire constitution, regardless of level of scrutiny required.

      • It’d be a sea-change that rivals, if not exceeds, Brown v Board of Education. We’re talking about a system of discrimination and restriction AT LEAST as invasive as Jim Crow, only seated in the largest population centers of most/all the states in the Union and not ‘backwaters.’

        Even if everything up to & including the NFA is struck down with extreme prejudice somehow, we all overestimate how much would change on the ground. It’d take decades to roll back even with the full backing of Uncle Sam, and probably even some Little Rock 9 style shows of force against the most intransigent bastions of anti-gunnery.

      • ” I understand the SC may not want to make a constitutional issue of it, but if the they do, and they decide right, it may not be a case-by-case scenario any more.”

        I really hope they do, but fear they won’t.

        I hope they learned from how the Leftists warped the intent of the ‘Heller’ decision, but as much as I’d like ‘carte blanch’ strict scrutiny, that may prove equally problematic.

        I hope Thomas has a pleasant surprise for us, but fear he won’t…

      • Unfortunately that is not the case. Laws will have to be challenged and found unconstitutional under the required level of scrutiny one by one. And even a single case can take years. NY, NJ, etc will do the same thing they have for everything else and slow-walk each case using mootness and procedural issues to gum it up and then find the most extreme end where the courts will allow them to go.

  4. Trump should issue a an executive order stating any state that violates the 2nd amendment is guilty of a federal crime

      • Yeah, so everyone should know the drill, then. The real question is “why in hell would Trump ever make such an order, even if there were no consequences?” It baffles me how many still think he’s in our corner after all he’s done to us. We’ll be unfucking the implications of this bump stock idiocy for decades or more, if we’re lucky.

    • Years ago Secretary of Transportation Elizabeth Dole threatened to withhold highway funding from any state that would not change the drinking age to 21 and lower the allowable BAC to .08.

      It’s time for the Executive Branch to threaten to withhold all federal law enforcement funding to any state with may issue laws.

      • And Obama threatened (or did) cut funding for states that call ICE on illegals. (or something similar to that)

      • This ploy goes back at least to Pres Carter.

        After The Supremes found that the feds *could not* impose a state 55mph speed limit, the Carter admin went for witholding highway funds, unless the state did what they wanted. That went to the SC as well, where found that it *was not* coercion, so good to go.

        I, myself am not a fan of this tactic, whatever the policy or threat.

    • Mad,

      President Trump does not have the Constitutional authority to issue such an executive order — which is not necessary anyway since there is already a federal law in the books that applies to such actions.

      That federal law is 18 U.S. Code § 242 titled “Deprivation of rights under color of law”.

      The real problem is getting federal prosecutors to actually enforce that law against state agents who violate it. Perhaps an executive order from President Trump directing the United Stated Justice Department to vigorously prosecute such offenders would be in order.

    • “We had to burn the Constitution to save the Constitution!”

      The shortsightedness of some people is astounding.

    • Wouldn’t he himself be guilty of that,by order of his Bump Stock ban and that wasn’t a firearm but rather a firearm accessory .

      • Trump didn’t issue an EO that declared the bump stock a machine gun. His EO directed BATFE to reconsider their prior ruling – which they subsequently did. It was BATFE that declared the bump stock a “machine gun”, in direct contradiction to statutory language.

        • ” It was BATFE that declared the bump stock a “machine gun”, in direct contradiction to statutory language.”

          BATFEE is an agency of the executive branch, which answers to “the executive”, which is Trump. The executive did not overturn the new interpretation. So….doesn’t that place responsibility for the abuse of power squarely on Trump?

          • So….doesn’t that place responsibility for the abuse of power squarely on Trump?


            But to assert that Trump changed the legality of bump stock through Executive Order is incorrect. His EO to direct BATFE to review its ruling was 100% lawful and constitutional, even if his reason for issuing it was misguided and intended to achieve the eventual outcome.

            BATFE could theoretically have acted under the auspices of that EO, and concluded that their extant decision was correct under the relevant statutes.

            • “But to assert that Trump changed the legality of bump stock through Executive Order is incorrect.”

              Technically, we agree, but…it is a distinction without a difference. Unbroken line from Trump EO to abuse of power by BATFEEE. Trump was not mandated to accept the change.

  5. So, where are the NRA’s wins in court this week also? Oh, that’s right. They are too busy playing bullshit shenanigans in Inidiana.

    • HB 1284 (in the passage of which NRA played no small role) is hardly shenanigans – of the bovine excrement kind or otherwise. It is a legislative victory that protects Hoosiers far more than any of the three court rulings in question (though the SCOTUS case has much greater potential, depending on how the court rules).

  6. This is why I cancelled GOA as I could not find anything they are doing for my Second Amendment Rights beyond filling my email box with sky is falling email alerts and send that instead to SAF. Second Amendment Foundation has been terrific including several court victories for my home state. This is great news and good job SAF.

    • They are definitely the most ‘fuel efficient’ of all the gun rights orgs (I suppose FPC is also in that running). However, SAF is more of a ‘scalpel’ when it comes an activism tool for us; they have a very narrow focus on the courts. GOA aspires to be a broader force (both in overall size, given it is growing rapidly, but also in tactics) that chases elections/politicians, helps coordinate the efforts of smaller local orgs, and of course serves at the stalwart punching bag boogeyman. Basically all the stuff the NRA is supposed to do as far as activism, but all too often doesn’t. Ambitious to be sure, and until quite recently they were nowhere near big enough to pull it off; that appears to possibly be changing, though.

      • SAF is a one trick pony, but the trick is extremely important… and they do it very, very well.

      • I was a member of GOA or two years and they have yet to accomplish squat. They won’t get and more of my money until they do. Talk is cheap.

  7. Did the Wisconsin case award costs to the victors? That’s how how you stop these frivolous lawsuits.

    • Sadly that seldom works, funding for these things is supplied by anti-gun organizations. As soon as the plaintiffs lose, they walk away and leave the fools to deal with the mess they helped make.

      The defendant who won can’t collect because the plaintiffs have no assets to grab. Look at the Lucky Gunner case to see how they do that.

  8. Unfortunately a ruling on guns seldom results in sweeping changes that eliminate anti gun laws. Unlike gay marriage or abortion which washed over the country like a tidal wave.
    The last two decisions had loopholes giving us local gun laws that were even worse.
    And some.people blame Trump for that too.

  9. Run into a bad situation involving a biased cop, lying witnesses and a corrupt DA and find out how many “rights” you really have.

  10. Not sure about the other cases, the the New Yoerk case that is pending before SCOTUS is a NRA backed case. SAF has nothing to do with it.

    but by the look and tone of the release, you would think SAF was running the case. Which is not true. they have nothing to do with that case.

    The case becomes important for a couple of reasons.

    1. it can extend the RKBA beyond the home forthright. While Heller did NOT limit it to the home, the otherside has often tried to portray it that way. This would end that arguement.

    2. the standard of review is all over the map for lower courts. They have made it up as they went along. This case gives us the ability to have the Court annouce a “test” for the standard of review that could force the hands of lower courts. It could also re-open a lot of litigation that was killed off via courts using lower standards of review.

    I think Thomas and Alito are loaded for bear. and that Roberts siding with Kennedy to keep the issue off the table is going to backfire now as the 4 want to set some lines. and Roberts I believe will be dragged along for his fear of fracturing those other 4 to wrok against him on other issues

  11. GOA hasn’t shown me much. They seem to think sending me stupid “questionaires” entitles them to demand my money, without accomplishing anything. I donate to SAF and NRA-ILA.

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