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Sturgeon v. Frost, et al.

The applicant's attorney relates the following pertinent facts:

The applicant, Mr. John Sturgeon, has sued the National Park Service in Alaska to prevent it from imposing restrictive federal regulations on lands and waters not owned by the federal government.

The applicant, Mr. John Sturgeon, has used a hovercraft to traverse the Nation River-a navigable river where the State of Alaska owns the submerged lands and waters-as a part of his moose hunts in Alaska since 1990. In 2007, the applicant, Mr. Sturgeon was using a small hovercraft to traverse the waters of the Nation River on a moose hunting trip in the Alaska wilderness. Mr. Sturgeon was on an area of the Nation River surrounded by the federal Yukon-Charley National Preserve. He was stopped by two National Park Service rangers. The rangers notified Mr. Sturgeon that federal regulations prohibited the use of hovercrafts on federal land.

Mr. Sturgeon argues that since the Nation River is navigable, it is state land, and per the Alaska National Interest Land Conservation Act of 1980 ("ANILCA"), it is not subject to federal regulation. According to the applicant's attorney, this was a ...

compromise [which] addressed land owned by the State of Alaska, Alaska Native Corporations, or private individuals, that was about to be surrounded by the new ANILCA parks and preserves. The agreement was that these non-federal lands would not be part of the new ANILCA parks and in no way would be subject to federal regulation .... . The Federal Government did not keep its side of the bargain.

This prohibition on NPS regulating non-federal lands within national parks and preserves in Alaska was set forth in ANILCA Section 103(c) which provides:

Only those lands within the boundaries of any conservation system unit which are public lands (as such term is defined in this Act) shall be deemed to be included as a portion of such unit. No lands which, before, on, or after December 2, 1980, are conveyed to the State, to any Native Corporation, or to any private party shall be subject to the regulations applicable solely to public lands within such units. If the State, a Native Corporation, or other owner desires to convey any such lands, the Secretary may acquire such lands in accordance with applicable law (including this Act), and any such lands shall become part of the unit, and be administered accordingly.

16 U.S.C. § 3103(c).

While the National Park Service did not initially appear to contest such an interpretation after the passage of the ANILCA in 1980, in 1996, the National Park Service revised its regulations concerning non-federal waters within the boundaries of National Park lands. The revised regulations covered all waters within the boundaries of the National Park system in Alaska, irrespective of other ownership interests. 36 C.F.R. § 1.2 (a) (3). This revision resulted in the federal government's ban on hovercraft use within National Parks being extended to the section of the Nation River in question.

Mr. Sturgeon filed a lawsuit seeking to have the above regulation declared invalid in Alaska, alleging that it violates the ANILCA prohibition on the National Park Service subjecting non-federal lands within Alaska to federal regulation. The case was litigated in the United States District Court for the District of Alaska, where Mr. Sturgeon lost. He appealed to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The Court of Appeals also ruled against Mr. Sturgeon. Certiorari was granted by the United States Supreme Court in October of 2015, where the case was briefed and argued on January 20, 2016. In June 2016, this matter was remanded to the Ninth Circuit.

On October 25, 2016, oral argument on remand was held before the United States Court of Appeal for the Ninth Circuit. The applicant's attorney argued the case for Mr. Sturgeon. The State of Alaska was also granted argument time as an amicus and briefing before the argument. The panel took the case under advisement and a decision is still pending.

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Bauer v Becerra (formerly, Bauer v. Harris).

Counsel informs as follows:

This lawsuit seeks to have the current Dealer Record of Sale ("DROS") fee and other ancillary fees declared excessive and unconstitutional. The California Department of Justice uses the DROS fees to bankroll anti-gun programs unrelated to background checks. Because the California Department of Justice charges lawful firearm purchasers the DROS and related fees, and then uses the funds to finance unrelated programs, plaintiffs allege that the DROS fee violates the state constitutional prohibition on charging excessive fees to exercise fundamental rights.

The District Court judge ruled adversely in March 2015, and an appeal to the United States Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals was filed. Briefing concluded on November 2015. Oral argument occurred on April 19, 2017.

The United States Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued an opinion on June 1, 2017.

The panel held that the use of the fee to fund enforcement efforts survived intermediate scrutiny because the government has demonstrated an important public safety interest in this statutory scheme, and there was a reasonable fit between the government's interest and the means it has chosen to achieve those ends. Accordingly, the district court did not err in concluding that the use of the fee to fund the California's Armed Prohibited Persons System program, through California Penal Code § 28225, did not violate the Constitution.

On June 15, 2017, the appellant filed a petition for rehearing en banc. The petition for en banc review was denied and the court issued the mandate on July 20, 2017.

Flanagan, et al, v. Becerra, et al. (formerly Flanagan, et al. v. Harris, et al.).

Counsel informs as follows:

In the aftermath of the Peruta en banc decision by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, a lawsuit was filed on August 17, 2016 in the United States District Court for the Central District, Western Division, of California.

The State and Sheriff both filed motions to dismiss the claims concerning concealed (but not open) carry and the Equal Protection claims. Oppositions to the motions were filed. The court granted the motions to dismiss in light of Peruta, which means the case will continue, but only the Second Amendment open carry claims will be considered by the lower court.

Peruta v. San Diego.

In addition to the funds granted to litigate this matter, the NRA's Office of the General Counsel also drafted and filed an amicus brief, on behalf of the Congress of Racial Equality. The brief recounts, among other things, the racist history and origin of California gun control laws, and the concealed carry statute in particular.

This lawsuit challenges, on Second Amendment and Fourteenth Amendment grounds, the requirement of showing "good cause" to obtain a permit to carry a concealed weapon. The case addresses the issue of whether the right to "bear" arms includes a right to carry a handgun in public.

The lawsuit was filed in 2009. The case was argued before the Ninth Circuit in December 2012. On February 13, 2014, the Ninth Circuit panel issued a decision in favor of the Second Amendment. The state of California moved to intervene and sought en banc review. Intervention and en banc review was granted.

Oral arguments in this case, along with Richards v. Prieto, were before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals panel on June 16, 2015. On June 9, 2016, the en banc panel vacated and reversed, affirming the United States District Court's ruling, holding that a member of the general public does not have a right under the Second Amendment to carry a concealed firearm in public, and that a state may impose restrictions, including a showing of good cause, on concealed carry. 824 F.3d 919, 939 (9th Cir. 2016) (en banc). On August 15, 2016, the Court denied a petition for a full court rehearing en banc.

Plaintiffs' petition for certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court was filed on January 12, 2017. Plaintiffs' reply brief was filed on March 3, 2017. On February 16, 2017, the NRA filed an amicus brief in support of the petition. On June 26, 2017, the petition was denied. This matter may now be considered closed.

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Bridgeville Rifle & Pistol Club v. Small, et al.

Counsel informs as follows:

Delaware state park and forest regulations prohibit the possession of a firearm within state parks and forests, with the only exception being for hunting. The Delaware state association filed a lawsuit in the Court of Chancery, in November 2015, challenging these regulations on two grounds. The first ground is based on the Delaware Constitution's right to keep and bear arms, which has a broader scope of protection than the federal Second Amendment thanks to a recent Delaware Supreme Court ruling in the NRA supported case of Doe v. Wilmington Housing Authority. The second ground is that the regulations are preempted because the legislature occupied the field of firearms regulation, which overrides the Delaware Departments of Natural Resources' and Agriculture's broad statutory authority to manage state parks and forests.

The Court of Chancery ruled that it did not have jurisdiction to grant plaintiffs' requested declaratory and injunctive relief, and transferred the case to the Delaware Superior Court. Cross motions for judgments on the pleadings were filed in July of 2016. The Superior Court did not ask for oral argument.

On December 23, 2016, the Superior Court ruled in favor of the state, holding that the regulations did not violate the Delaware Constitution, nor were they preempted by state law, and that the department did not exceed the scope of its statutory authority and that the department has an important governmental objective of keeping the public safe from the potential harm of firearms in parks and forests.

The applicants appealed. The case will be argued before the Delaware Supreme Court on September 13, 2017.

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Matthew Corrigan v. District of Columbia, et al.

The applicant's attorney relates the following pertinent facts:

Mr. Corrigan contacted a telephone suicide hotline. The police broke into his home and seized firearms and ammunition. He was arrested and was charged with possession of unregistered firearms and possession of ammunition for unregistered firearms in the home. Mr. Corrigan filed motions to dismiss and to suppress. The motion to suppress was granted. The government subsequently dismissed all charges.

A civil lawsuit "for damages, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, for violation of Plaintiff's Fourth Amendment right to be secure in his person, house, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures" was filed against the Metropolitan Police Department and several of its officers. The lawsuit was dismissed in August of 2015, on qualified immunity grounds.

We have become aware that on November 8, 2016, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit held as follows:

Even assuming, without deciding, that the initial "sweep" of Corrigan's home by the MPD Emergency Response Team ("ERT") was justified under the exigent circumstances and emergency aid exceptions to the warrant requirement, the second top-to-bottom search by the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Unit ("EOD") after the MPD had been on the scene for several hours was not. The MPD had already secured the area and determined that no one else was inside Corrigan's home and that there were no dangerous or illegal items in plain sight. Corrigan had previously surrendered peacefully to MPD custody. The information the MPD had about Corrigan - a U.S. Army veteran and reservist with no known criminal record - failed to provide an objectively reasonable basis for believing there was an exigent need to break in Corrigan's home a second time to search for "hazardous materials," whose presence was based on speculative hunches about vaguely described "military items" in a green duffel bag. And assuming, without deciding, that the community caretaking exception to the warrant requirement applies to a home, the scope of the second search far exceeded what that exception would allow. In the end, what the MPD would have the court hold is that Corrigan's Army training with improvised explosive devices ("IEDs"), and the post-traumatic stress disorder ("PTSD") he suffers as a result of his military service - characteristics shared by countless veterans who have risked their lives for this country - could justify an extensive and destructive warrantless search of every drawer and container in his home. Neither the law nor the factual record can reasonably be read to support that sweeping conclusion.

Because it was (and is) clearly established that law enforcement officers must have an objectively reasonable basis for believing an exigency justifies a warrantless search of a home, and because no reasonable officer could have concluded such a basis existed for the second more intrusive search, the officers were not entitled to qualified immunity across the board. Accordingly, we reverse the grant of summary judgment in part and remand the case for further proceedings. Upon remand, the district court can address a remaining claim of qualified immunity based on reasonable reliance on a supervisor's order and Corrigan's claim of Municipal liability, which the district court did not reach.

In mid-August 2017, the parties settled the matter. This matter may now be considered closed.

Grace v. District of Columbia.

The applicant's attorney relates the following pertinent facts:

The District of Columbia currently requires an applicant for a concealed carry license to show "good reason" for the license before it will be issued. This restriction means that even when an applicant passes a background check and completes all other requirements, issuance of their license may be, and in practice usually is, blocked at the discretion of the Metropolitan Police Department for a failure to demonstrate an "extraordinary need." This requirement has resulted in a de facto ban on concealed carry in the District of Columbia.

Suit was filed in December 2015 challenging the restrictive carry permit system. The NRA filed an amicus brief and was granted argument time on the motion for injunction on February 2, 2016.

In Grace v. District of Columbia, the United State District Court for the District of Columbia held that the above "good cause" requirement likely violates the Second Amendment and suspended its enforcement and an injunction was granted. Grace v. District of Columbia, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 64681 (D.D.C. May 17, 2016)

The District of Columbia appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, which then issued a temporary order reinstating the requirement while the Court of Appeals considers the matter on appeal. This was because another judge in the same district court denied a preliminary injunction to plaintiffs in Wrenn. The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit stayed the injunction in Grace by a 2-1 panel vote and scheduled the two cases for joint appellate consideration on an expedited basis. Both cases were argued before the Circuit Court of Appeals on September 20, 2016. On July 25, 2017, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ordered the entry of final judgment "with instructions to enter permanent injunctions against the enforcement of the District's good-reason law."

Counsel for the District has indicated that they would seek en banc review. The deadline to file is August 24, 2017.

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Dale Lee Norman v. State of Florida.

The applicant's attorney relates the following pertinent facts:

The applicant, Mr. Dale Lee Norman, is a law-abiding citizen who had a concealed carry permit. On the day of the arrest, the applicant left his home with his firearm on his person. However, his shirt got caught on the butt of his gun and the firearm was exposed. The applicant did not realize that his firearm was in plain view. He attracted the attention of other civilians who called the police. The applicant was charged with and convicted of violating Florida's open carry ban.

On March 2, 2017, the Florida Supreme Court held that the Second Amendment does not guarantee a right to carry a firearm openly in public and upheld the applicant's conviction for openly carrying a firearm on his person. Norman v. State of Florida, 2017 WL 823613 (Fla. 2017). After applying intermediate scrutiny, the majority upheld the open carry ban, in part, because the alternative of concealed carry was available.

The applicant's attorney filed a petition for a writ of certiorari the United States Supreme Court. He argues that Heller addressed the issue of open carrying and that such a ban violates the Second Amendment. "Heller explicitly endorsed the original public understanding that 'a ban on carrying pistols openly' violates the Second Amendment."

Although the State of Florida waived the right to file a response to the petition for a writ of certiorari, on August 11, 2017, the United States Supreme Court ordered that the State file a response by September 11, 2017. The applicant's attorney informs "that the petition has sufficient merit that adversary briefing is required for full consideration [b]ut that the chance that cert[iorari] would be granted still faces tough odds."

Gerald Tanso.

The applicant's attorney relates the following pertinent facts: The applicant runs a gun shop, Lock N' Load. A mentally ill man attempted to purchase a firearm from the FFL however was denied due to the NICS check. The mentally ill man then allegedly had a friend purchase the shotgun and used that gun to kill his mother and her boyfriend. Although the ATF and local state's attorney's office investigated the murders and found no wrongdoing by Mr. Tanso or his staff, the Brady Campaign has filed a civil wrongful death action, claiming that Lock N' Load engaged in a straw purchase when they let the mentally ill man's friend purchase the shot gun.

An update was requested on July 3, 2017, but none has been received. However, we have discovered that on August 4, 2017, the parties agreed to a settlement. "In the settlement Tanso agreed not to engage in the gun business again and publicly recommended all gun dealers improve business practices to prevent firearms from winding up in dangerous hands ... ." This matter may now be considered closed.

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Hauser Lake Rod and Gun Club, Inc. vs. Kootenai County and the City of Hauser.

The applicant's attorney relates the following pertinent facts:

The club has been in existence for more than 63 years. Houses have been built around the club and noise complaints have been made. It is located in the county, outside the city but within the city's area of impact. The City of Hauser is seeking to reduce the days and hours of operation to one day per weekend. This is in conflict with Idaho's sport shooting range protection law. The club sought a building permit to construct an accessory storage building on its property. Allegations were made of alteration by the club to the non-conforming use. The city issued a violation notice to the club, claiming a violation of the City Municipal Code. It was appealed. The city also informed that the building permit would not be processed until the violation notice was resolved.

The Idaho Constitution limits a city's powers to the area within its municipal boundaries. The city and county actions violate the Idaho Constitution. On June 21, 2013, a petition for declaratory judgment was filed in the district court of Kootenai County. On August 1, 2013, the County Commissioners ruled that the City of Hauser had no authority to render any decision regarding the club. All pending actions of the city against the club were vacated. The county will be the only government that the club will deal with in the future.

A lawsuit for attorney fees was filed in district court. Oral arguments were heard on October 27, 2015. The club has prevailed in the underlying matter being litigated, and the only outstanding issue is that of attorneys' fees, which the court did not award.

An appeal was filed on November 8, 2016 with the Supreme Court of Idaho. The applicant's attorney argued that the applicant was the victim of adverse action by the City of Hauser, which, despite a constitutional provision and clear precedent regarding the City's lack of jurisdiction to enforce its city code against non-residents, issued a notice of violation against the applicant. The failure to award attorney's fees was an abuse of discretion by the district court.

The Idaho Supreme Court heard the case on April 5, 2017. The appeal was successful. On June 9, 2017 the Idaho Supreme Court reversed the district court's order denying attorney fees to prevailing party and awarded attorney's fees to the club. This case may now be considered closed.

Nesbitt, et al. v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (formerly Elizabeth Morris, Alan Baker v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

The applicant's attorney relates the following pertinent facts:

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers administers 12 million acres of public, recreational freshwater lakes and rivers. These bodies of water account for thirty three percent of all U.S. freshwater fishing. Regulations adopted by the Corps in 1973 prohibit "the possession of loaded firearms, ammunition, loaded projectile firing devices, bows and arrows, crossbows, or other weapons." 36 C.F.R. § 327.13.

The Mountain State Legal Foundation, a nonprofit, public-interest law firm, has filed suit challenging the firearms restriction on behalf of Ms. Elizabeth E. Nesbitt and Mr. Alan C. Baker.

Ms. Nesbitt was issued an emergency concealed carry license by her local sheriff due to threats and physical attacks against her by a former neighbor. Ms. Nesbitt regularly uses Corps-administered public lands in Idaho, and would like to be able to carry her concealed firearm on these lands, as she does elsewhere, for protection.

Mr. Baker is an NRA certified instructor and lifelong outdoorsman. He is licensed to carry a concealed handgun in Utah, Idaho, Arizona and Oregon. Mr. Baker regularly uses Corps-administered lands for recreation and would like to carry his concealed firearm for protection while doing so.

The constitutional issue presented was "whether the Second Amendment protects individuals' rights to carry firearms for self-defense and to possess functional firearms in their temporary residences on federal lands. ... If MSLF prevails, the Corps will be barred from prohibiting visitors from possessing functional firearms when camping or recreating at its sites nationwide."

On October 13, 2014, the United States District Court granted summary judgment in favor of the plaintiffs and denied the government's motion for summary judgment. The district court held that 36 C.F.R. § 327.13 violates the Second Amendment and is unconstitutional and also enjoined the defendants from enforcing the unconstitutional regulation on Corps-managed property within Idaho.

On December 10, 2014, the federal government filed an appeal with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Briefs were filed between April 17, 2015 and August 12, 2015. Oral argument was scheduled for February 2017 and was subsequently rescheduled for March 6, 2017.

In early March 2017, on the eve of oral arguments before the Ninth Circuit, the government filed an emergency motion to place the appeal in mediation. On March 3, 2017, the motion was granted. The matter remains in mediation.

Nicholas Lion.

The applicant's attorney relates the following pertinent facts:

This matter involves the denial by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tabaco, Firearms and Explosives ("BATFE") of a proposed transfer of a silencer.

The applicant, Mr. Nicholas Lion, who resides near Sandpoint, Idaho, sought to purchase a firearm silencer from a licensed dealer. The Form 4 was submitted to the BATFE in November of 2014. In late March of 2016, the application to transfer the silencer was denied. The denial was based on one count of Disorderly Conduct under N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:33-2, which, according to the BATFE made the applicant a prohibited person under 18 U.S.C. § 922(g) (1).

The only matters on Mr. Lion's criminal record are this disorderly conduct charge and a simple assault charge under N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:12-1.a.(1). No disposition is shown for either charge on the local records. Both of these charges stemmed from a single incident in July of 1987.

Under New Jersey law, the disorderly conduct charge is a petty disorderly person offense, which carries a maximum penalty of 30 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $500. The simple assault charge is a disorderly person offense, which carries a maximum penalty of six months in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000.00. Neither is considered "crime" under New Jersey law and even a conviction on these charges would not make one a prohibited person under § 922(g) (1).

BATFE informed the applicant that the transfer would be denied if no disposition of these charges could be found. However, even a conviction would not disqualify him. BATFE also informed that the applicant would have to prove that that charges were not misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence under § 922(g) (9). This reverses the burden of proof. "If ATF has adopted a practice of reversing the burden of proof on minor assaults, and requiring the applicant to show that all such convictions are not domestic violence cases, the effect will be severe and unjustified under the law."

Mr. Lion has filed a pro-se lawsuit against the BATFE in federal district court in Idaho. "As presently filed, it would certainly be dismissed." On the advice of counsel, on June 9, 2016, Mr. Lion voluntarily dismissed, without prejudice, the pro se lawsuit he had filed in federal district court.

The applicant's attorney is trying to resolve the matter through the BATFE and NICS. The applicant's attorney drafted a declaration by Mr. Lion, which had been requested by the BATFE, and a prepared a package of documents in support of the declaration. These materials were sent to the BATFE on July 14, 2017. Absent a resolution, he will bring a lawsuit against the BATFE to prevent the agency from reversing the burden of proof. Mr. Lion's attorney expects that it may take some time to determine whether the matter can be resolved, or whether we will need to file suit against ATF.

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People v. Shawna Johnson.

The applicant's attorney relates the following pertinent facts:

The Illinois State Police revoked Shawna Johnson's Firearms Owner's Identification ("FOID") card after learning of a 2001 misdemeanor battery conviction involving her ex-husband. Ms. Johnson had plead guilty to that charge after the prosecutor assured her that the conviction would not permanently prevent her from holding a FOID.

After the revocation, Ms. Johnson commenced a pro se action against the Illinois State Police and obtained a ruling that substantively indicated that she could obtain relief notwithstanding the federal prohibition, based on the rationale in Coram v. State, 996 N.E. 1057 (Ill. 2013). The issue is whether a circuit court can remove federal firearms disabilities for individuals who have been convicted of a misdemeanor domestic violence charge.

The Illinois State Police contends, citing 430 Ill. Comp. Stat. 65/10(b), that circuit courts cannot grant relief because Illinois statutory law prohibits restoration of rights to those prohibited from possessing firearms pursuant to federal law. Ms. Johnson argues that federal law enables the removal of a federal firearms disability if one's "civil rights" have been restored. Ms. Johnson also contends that 18 U.S.C. § 922(g) (9) as applied to her is unconstitutional under the Second Amendment.

An evidentiary hearing was held in this matter on January 20, 2016. Subsequently, the court directed each side to submit two post-hearing briefs each.

Eugene Johnson v. Illinois Concealed Carry Licensing Review Board, the Illinois State Police and Hiram Grau as Director of the Illinois State Police.

The applicant's attorney relates the following pertinent facts:

In early 2014, Mr. Eugene Johnson submitted an application for a concealed carry license in the State of Illinois. Shortly thereafter, Mr. Johnson was notified that two (2) separate law enforcement agencies had objected to his application for a concealed carry license.

These two agencies, the Chicago Police Department and the Cook County Sherriff's Office, based their objections on an October 2009, incident in Hillside, Illinois in which Mr. Johnson was arrested for domestic violence. According to a police report of the incident from the Hillside Police Department, Mr. Johnson allegedly pushed and struck his girlfriend causing her to bleed from the mouth. Several weeks later, the State dismissed these charges nolle prosequi. Other than this arrest for domestic battery, Mr. Johnson has no criminal record.

Due to the law enforcement agencies objections, Mr. Johnson's concealed carry license application was submitted to the Illinois Concealed Carry License Review Board. Mr. Johnson submitted supporting documentation regarding his otherwise clean criminal history to the Illinois Concealed Carry License Review Board. The Board had the option of calling for an evidentiary hearing to further examine the facts surrounding the matter before it made its determination. Without first conducting such an evidentiary hearing, the Illinois Concealed Carry License Review Board determined, based on a preponderance of the available evidence, that Mr. Johnson "is a danger to himself, a danger to others, or poses a threat to public safety," and sustained the objection to his concealed carry license application.

The questions presented are: whether a criminal charge that was dismissed nolle prosequi is sufficient grounds to find that an individual "is a danger to himself, a danger to others, or poses a threat to public safety," and, therefore, to deny that individual a concealed carry license; and, whether Mr. Johnson's right to due process was violated based on the Illinois Concealed Carry License Review Board choosing not to hold an evidentiary hearing before reaching its decision.

Mr. Johnson's appeal of the Illinois Concealed Carry License Review Board decision was heard before the Cook County Circuit Court in April 2015, after which the Court asked each side to submit a memorandum on the meaning and effect of a criminal case being dismissed nolle prosequi.

The Board's denial was upheld by the Cook County Circuit Court. Mr. Johnson appealed to the Illinois Appellate Court, which in July 2016, upheld the decision of the Board and the Circuit Court. The Appellate Court's reasoning centered on Mr. Johnson not raising several technical objections in his initial pro se appeal. Mr. Johnson's attorney contended that a pro se litigant should not be expected to understand such objections, and should therefore be allowed to raise them on appeal, once counsel is retained. This concluded the litigation.

The applicant's attorney advised the applicant to apply for a permit again, arguing that the previous denial stemmed from the fact that in his initial application, the applicant did not provide information about the arrest that was the basis for the denial. A new application has now been filed in which the applicant provides information about the arrest beyond the mere fact that the case was dismissed. The applicant's attorney believes that the new application will be successful.

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Cresap Rifle Club, Inc. v. City of Frederick.

The applicant's attorney informs as follows:

The applicant, is a not-for-profit handgun and rifle shooting range located in Frederick, Maryland. The City of Frederick ("City") currently owns the property where the range is located, and leases said property to the range since 1994.

On May 4, 2017, the City issued a notice of default letter to the range, alleging that "bullet fragments and other debris directly attributable to the use of the Leased Property are not being contained on the Leased Property". The City later claimed that the applicant has "[in]sufficient provisions to adequately account for or abate the lead bullets that are being utilized on the leased property." The City alleges that these issues put the applicant in breach of the lease agreement. The City also has alleged that automatic weapons are being used at the range by a sublessee; a police department. However, a 2010 lease amendment specifically allows automatic weapons may use on the range by police departments.

In response, the applicant voluntarily closed its range. The applicant contacted the NRA's Range Technical Team. The NRA's Range Technical Team's report contradicts the claims made by the City.

The applicant believes that the City of Frederick Police Department, which has a range located directly next to the applicant, wishes to evict the applicant in order to expand their own range.

The applicant is willing to negotiate a deal with the Police Department, allowing them access to the applicant's range. The applicant's attorney has unsuccessfully attempted to resolve this matter with the City.

On June 29, 2017, the applicant's attorney filed a declaratory judgement action in the Frederick County Circuit Court alleging that the City has breached the lease agreement. The applicant's attorney has also served discovery demands, including interrogatories and a notices of deposition. The defendants' responses are due on August 18, 2017.

Kolbe, et al. v. Hogan (Kolbe, et al. v. O'Malley).

Counsel informs as follows:

This lawsuit is a challenge to Maryland's ban on popular semi-automatic rifles and magazines with capacities in excess of ten rounds enacted by the "Maryland Firearm Safety Act of 2013." The plaintiffs, a collection of Maryland individual citizens, firearms dealerships, and advocacy groups, including the Maryland State Rifle and Pistol Association, created a strong record of fact and expert evidence demonstrating the challenged bans could not pass constitutional muster under any level of heightened scrutiny.

The District Court for the District of Maryland, in defiance of the United States Supreme Court's Heller and McDonald decisions, as well as Fourth Circuit precedents, disagreed and followed the holding established by the Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia in Heller II (upholding DC's ban on so-called "assault weapons" and "high capacity magazines"), applying nominal intermediate scrutiny and holding that the state's interest in public safety outweighed any individual Second Amendment interests impaired by the Act.

The case was appealed to the Fourth Circuit. Oral argument was held on March 25, 2015, before the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, where Chief Judge Traxler (South Carolina), Judge Agee (Virginia), and Judge King (West Virginia) were empaneled to hear the case. This panel's composition was significant because some combination of these three judges are responsible for all of the Fourth Circuit's post-Heller Second Amendment jurisprudence, which provides that restrictions affecting the exercise of Second Amendment rights by responsible, law-abiding citizens in their homes must be analyzed using strict scrutiny.

On February 4, 2016 the Court in a two to one ruling vacated and remanded the case back to the trial court. The court held that semiautomatic rifles and large capacity magazines are bearable arms protected by the Second Amendment, and a complete ban on them must be subjected to strict scrutiny. The court remanded the case with instructions to re-hear the case using strict scrutiny standard.

On February 18, 2016, the State filed a motion for en banc review simultaneously with a number of anti-gun amici. The Court accepted the motion before amici in support of the plaintiffs' opposition could be filed. Various amici on both sides have been filed including one on behalf of NRA. On April 11, 2016 both Plaintiffs and the State filed their supplemental briefs. Oral arguments, before the full Fourth Circuit, were heard on May 11, 2016.

The en banc court issued its opinion on February 21, 2017, affirming the District Court in all respects.

The majority adopted a novel test for determining whether a firearm is protected by the Second Amendment. It interpreted part of an aside in one sentence in Heller to mean that "weapons that are most useful in military service ... like the M-16" are outside the protection of the Second Amendment. It then concluded, improperly ignoring all of Plaintiffs' evidence to the contrary, that the banned firearms and magazines were "clearly most useful in military service." The majority opinion also reasoned that even if the banned firearms and magazines were protected by the Second Amendment, intermediate scrutiny would be the highest level of review it would apply because other firearms (including handguns) remain available for citizens to use in self-defense. In so doing, the Court disavowed its prior statements in Woollard, Chester, Masciandaro, and Hosford that strict scrutiny must apply to laws burdening the exercise of Second Amendment rights in the home by law-abiding, responsible citizens.

Judge Traxler's dissent tracked the panel opinion he authored and criticized the majority at length for the impropriety of its opinion. Traxler would have applied the "typically possessed by law-abiding citizens for lawful purposes" test announced in Heller and applied by every court other than the Seventh Circuit in black-gun cases. He noted that there is no dispute that the banned firearms and magazines meet this test, as has been found or assumed by every court to have considered similar bans. He criticized the majority for rejecting the proper test because they did not like the outcome. The dissent also aptly pointed out that "basic fairness requires that the plaintiffs have an opportunity to squarely meet" the new test adopted by the majority and that the majority had abandoned the summary judgment standard of viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the non-movant. The dissent argued that the new test adopted by the majority was inconsistent with Heller and Caetano and "[u]nder this approach, it is irrelevant that a firearm may have been commonly possessed and widely accepted as a legitimate firearm for law-abiding citizens for hundreds of years; such a weapon could be removed from the scope of the Second Amendment so long as a court says it is 'like' an M-16 or, even easier, just calls it a 'weapon of war.'" The dissent also explained that the evidence in the record demonstrates that the banned firearms and magazines do not meet the new test set forth by the majority.

Counsel filed a petition for a writ of certiorari to the United States Supreme Court on July 21, 2017, and collected strong amicus briefs from a myriad of supporters due on August 25, 2017, the same day Maryland's response to the petition is due.

Kolbe, et al. v. Hogan (Kolbe, et al. v. O'Malley) - amicus brief.

Funding was granted to draft and file an amicus brief supporting certiorari in the United States Supreme Court, in the case of Kolbe v. Hogan, on behalf of several Second Amendment advocacy groups, including Pink Pistols, The Congress of Racial Equality, Women Against Gun Control and the Disabled Sportsmen of North America.

The applicant's attorney relates the following pertinent facts:

The issue presented by Kolbe's appeal from an adverse decision by the Fourth Circuit (sitting en banc) is whether the Second Amendment, as construed by the Supreme Court in DC v. Heller, allows Maryland to impose an outright ban on the best-selling semiautomatic rifles and magazines sold in America (the semiautomatic AR-15 and its clones), even though those firearms undeniably are, in conformity with the Court's test in Heller, "typically possessed by law-abiding citizens for lawful purposes," including self-defense in the home.

Insofar as the Kolbe case is pending in the Supreme Court of the United States, a successful appeal would achieve a nationwide victory on this issue, which has been litigated in many lower federal courts and is of central importance to the right to bear arms. The amici groups listed above have a unique perspective on this issue because they consist of citizens typically marginalized in America society and disproportionately subjected to criminal violence based on their race, gender, or disability status. These groups put a very human face on the Second Amendment right to self-defense and demonstrate that this right is by no means the exclusive province of hunters, sports-shooters and firearms collectors.

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Batty, et al, v. Albertelli, et al. (formerly Davis, et al. v. Grimes, et al.).

This case is pending in the United States District Court, Massachusetts. Counsel informs as follows:

In 2013, suit was filed on behalf of a group of Massachusetts gun owners against a number of county sheriffs for violations of the state's licensing laws. Chief among the complaints were extra statutory requirements and limits placed on the granting of carry permits at variance with state law and case law. Because of extensive changes in the law and local regulations by defendant sheriffs a second suit was filed and the original suit dismissed. On June 17, 2015, the court granted the defendants' motions to dismiss on the ground that there is no longer a case or controversy between the parties.

The first case, although it did not lead to a final ruling, was very effective for gun owners. In the counties named in the original suits unrestricted carry permit approval rates went from averages of 30-45% to 80-95%. While the remaining case moves slowly along the path of the first results strongly favorable to gun owners are also being generated.

On April 4, 2016, following significant reform in local regulations and the issuance of unrestricted permits to the plaintiffs in the municipality the town of Winchester, Massachusetts was dismissed from the case. The suit continues as to the remaining jurisdictions.

On July 7, 2016, defendants filed motions to dismiss. On July 8, 2016, a motion for summary judgment was filed by plaintiffs' counsel. On February 24, 2017, the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts granted the defendants' motion to dismiss and denied the applicants' motion for summary judgment in Batty, et al. v. Albertelli, et al. lost on. There has been no appeal, so this matter may now be considered closed.

Pullman Arms, Inc., et al. v. Healy.

This case is pending in the United States District Court, Massachusetts. Counsel informs as follows:

On July 20, 2016 in an editorial in the Boston Globe state Attorney General, Maura Healy announced for the first time a radical reinterpretation of Massachusetts' long standing gun ban that mirrors the 1994 Clinton federal gun ban and that had been on the books in Massachusetts for approximately twenty (20) years. She unilaterally declared almost every semiautomatic firearm on the market to be illegal under Massachusetts law.

Suit was filed in the United States Distinct Court for the District of Massachusetts on September 22, 2016 by the National Shooting Sports Foundation. The lawsuit challenges the reinterpretation of Massachusetts' long standing gun ban.

On November 22, 2016, Massachusetts filed a motion to dismiss. The motion was heard in the first week of April 2017. Supplemental briefs were filed in April and May 2017. A decision remains pending.

Worman, et al, v. Baker.

This case is pending in the United States District Court, Massachusetts. Counsel informs as follows:

On July 20, 2016 in an editorial in the Boston Globe state Attorney General, Maura Healy announced for the first time a radical reinterpretation of Massachusetts' long standing gun ban that mirrors the 1994 Clinton federal gun ban and that had been on the books in Massachusetts for approximately twenty (20) years. She unilaterally declared almost every semiautomatic firearm on the market to be illegal under Massachusetts law.

On January 23, 2017, a complaint was filed. The state filed an answer on March 16, 2017.

The defendants asserted Eleventh Amendment defenses of immunity from suit as part of their answer. Written discovery has been exchanged. Certain defendants-the Governor of Massachusetts, Massachusetts State Police, and Superintendent McKeon of the Massachusetts State Police-moved to dismiss on July 14, 2017, and moved to stay discovery against them on July 17, 2017. Other defendants-Attorney General and Secretary of Office of Public Safety-did not move to dismiss or stay discovery. Plaintiff's counsel dropped the Governor without discovery, dropped Massachusetts State Police, but noticed its deposition, and opposed the motions with respect to Superintendent McKeon. The court has set a Hearing for September 14, 2017, one day before the close of fact discovery on September 15, 2017. Dispositive motions are due December 15, 2017, and trial is scheduled for on or around May 1, 2018.

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Joshua Wade v. University of Michigan

The applicant's attorney relates the following pertinent facts:

Mr. Wade works for the University of Michigan Credit Union. Mr. Wade holds a valid Michigan Concealed Pistol License. While open carrying in downtown Ann Arbor, Michigan, Mr. Wade encountered a campus police officer who told him if he brought his gun onto campus property he would be arrested. After researching the relevant gun laws, Mr. Wade determined that he could apply to the University of Michigan's Director of Public Safety for permission to carry a firearm on campus.

Mr. Wade applied to the Director of Public Safety for the personal waiver in September 2014. His request was delegated to the Chief of the University of Michigan Police before being ultimately denied.

The University of Michigan's powers, as an arm of the state government, are set forth in the Michigan Constitution, pursuant to which the University is given the power to exercise general supervision of its property.

Mr. Wade challenged the University of Michigan's ban on the carry of firearms on University property under Michigan's preemption statute. Mich. Comp. Laws § 123.1101 et seq. Michigan's Court of Appeals has interpreted the firearms preemption statute broadly. In Capital Area District Library v. Michigan Open Carry, the Court of Appeals held that the preemption statute and Michigan's state firearms regulations preempted the entire field of firearm regulations and that quasi-municipal entities are subject to the state firearms preemption. Furthermore, in Branum v. Board of Regents of the University of Michigan, it was held that - despite the grant of "general supervision powers to the University - the University was subject to generally applicable state laws.

In November 2015, the Court granted the University's motion for summary disposition. Counsel for Mr. Wade filed an appeal with the Michigan Court of Appeals on December 4, 2015. Briefs have been filed and this matter is currently pending oral argument in the Michigan Court of Appeals.

The Michigan Court of Appeals has consolidated two school district cases (Clio and Ann Arbor) which involved the Michigan preemption statute. Oral argument occurred in December 2016 and the Court of Appeals held the applicant's case in abeyance until those cases were decided. Recently, the Michigan Court of Appeals has ruled in the two cases, holding that the two K-12 school districts were not subject to preemption and rejecting the argument that the Michigan legislature completely preempted the field of firearms regulation. Michigan Gun Owners, Inc. v Ann Arbor Public Schools, Mich. App. N.W.2d (2016) (Docket No. 32693) and Michigan Open Carry Inc. v Clio School District, Mich. App. N.W.2d (2016) (Docket No. 329418). The applicants' attorney believes that this flies in the face of the Michigan Supreme Court holding in CADL v. MOC that the Michigan legislature had occupied the field. Those two cases have been appealed to Michigan Supreme Court.

The Court of Appeals issued its opinion for publication on June 6, 2017, affirming the lower court's summary disposition for the Appellee. However, the dissenting opinion was favorable to the applicant's position and supports grounds for appeal to the Michigan Supreme Court. The applicant's attorney is currently working on an Application for Leave to appeal to the Michigan Supreme Court.

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Brian Winczewski v. The Township of Osage, Arthur Yliniemi, Osage Sportsmens Club, Inc. f/k/a Osage Sportsman Club, Inc.

The applicant's attorney has related the following pertinent facts:

The applicant, the Osage Sportsmens Club, Inc., a Minnesota as a non-profit corporation, has been in existence since 1952 and maintains a shooting range.

Mr. Brian Winczewski, who owns real estate adjoining the club's property is trying to shut the club down and has initiated "a multi-faceted legal attack" against the club "for the simple purpose of damaging the [c]lub financially." First, Mr. Winczewski brought an administrative challenge at the Minnesota Court of Appeals level to overturn the County's grant of a conditional use permit to clear some trees on the shooting range. The challenge was successful because the County had failed to make the required findings when it had granted the conditional use permit.

The applicant has recently been notified that Mr. Winczewski is in the process of bringing another administrative challenge to the Minnesota Court of Appeals against the club.

Mr. Winczewski has also filed a lawsuit against the club and Osage Township in the Minnesota Seventh Judicial District, County of Becker. The 25 counts include allegations of impropriety regarding a transaction between the club and the Township, and unsubstantiated environmental, nuisance and trespass claims.

Winczewski seeks a declaration that the depositing of "shot and shot-related materials" constitutes environmental violations under Minnesota law. According to Winczewski, every time a firearm is discharged, an act of pollution occurs. If successful, the relief sought by Winczewski would effectively illegalize recreational hunting and shooting sports and decommission every shooting range in the State of Minnesota. While this would clearly be an unconscionable result, Winczewski's complaint does at least present a prima facie argument that firearm discharges could be contemplated and prohibited by various portions of Minnesota law. The potential consequences of a ruling in Winczewski's favor makes this a matter of grave significance for hunters and sportsmen in Minnesota and throughout the country.

Minnesota law includes the Minnesota Shooting Range Protection Act ... The Range Protection Act serves to protect ranges that are "in compliance with shooting range performance standards" and other relevant standards from being closed or forced to cease activities. Winczewski seeks to circumvent the Range Protection Act by attacking the Club with environmental claims, but more importantly, the Range Protection Act offers little protection if the Club runs out of money due to this litigation.

The plaintiff recently dismissed one of his lawsuits with prejudice. Thus, "[t]he main litigation has concluded at this point, and it is our hope that it will not be revived."

However, the plaintiff continues his challenge to the club's conditional use permit, in the form of an administrative appeal of the conditional use permit granted to the Club. Oral argument before the Minnesota Court of Appeals was scheduled for July 20, 2017.

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William LaManno, et al. v. Friendly Firearms, LLC, et al.

The applicant's attorney relates the following pertinent facts:

Friendly Firearms, LLC is being sued by heirs of the deceased Ms. Terry LaManno. Ms. LaManno was one of three individuals shot at a Jewish community center by Mr. Glenn Cross, a/k/a Glenn Miller, a white supremacist. The lawsuit alleges negligence, negligence per se, and negligent entrustment arising out of the sale of the firearm used in Ms. LaManno's killing, by Friendly Firearms, LLC to an individual who then allegedly provided the firearm to Mr. Cross. The causes of actions asserted are in an "attempt to avoid the protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act. [The plaintiffs' attorney] is being supported in that attempt by a recent Supreme Court of Missouri case, Delana v. CED Sales. Inc., d/b/a Odessa Gun and Pawn."

The applicant's attorney further informs:

We are not aware of any evidence from any source that would suggest that Friendly Firearms, LLC or Mr. Jameison had any information that Mr. Reidle was purchasing the gun for Mr. Miller, a convicted felon who could not buy it for himself. It appears that this is a blatant attempt to put Friendly Firearms, LLC and Mr. Jameison out of business for a valid sale of the firearm because of the outrageous conduct of Mr. Miller.

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., named as a defendant in the suit, filed for removal to federal court, which was denied and the case was remanded to the Jackson County Circuit Court.

The case was set for trial on March 26, 2018. However, Friendly Firearms, LLC was dismissed from the case by plaintiff's counsel without prejudice. An order dismissing, without prejudice, Friendly Firearms, LLC was issued on January 24, 2017. However, the case against Friendly Firearms, LLC could be refiled within one year from the date of the dismissal.

On February 14, 2017, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. filed a motion to file an amended third party petition seeking to bring back into the suit Friendly Firearms, LLC, RK Shows, Inc. and RK Shows MO., Inc. However depositions proved that there was no case against the applicant. In March of 2017, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. voluntarily withdrew the motion to file an amended third party petition, thus dropping the case against Friendly Firearms, LLC.

On August 16, 2017, the United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri finally denied Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.'s continued attempts to remove the case to federal court. The case will be tried in the Jackson County Circuit Court

As far as the applicant is concerned, this matter may now be considered closed.

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State of New Jersey v. Jose Fernandez.

The applicant's attorney relates the following pertinent facts:

Jose Fernandez is a gainfully employed 30 year of married father of a newborn. When Mr. Fernandez and his family moved to a new home, his wife packed his unloaded revolver in a duffle bag. Sometime later, this duffle bag was used as a carry on for the family's vacation to Florida. Not realizing the firearm was in the duffle bag, Mr. Fernandez was arrested when it was discovered at the TSA checkpoint. Mr. Fernandez was charged with one count of N.J.S. 2C:39-5b (second degree unlawful possession of a handgun).

His application to the Pre-Trial Intervention ("PTI") program was denied. The denial was appealed. Trial started on January 25, 2016. After a hung jury at trial, Mr. Fernandez was granted PTI after all. Mr. Fernandez successfully completed PTI in May 2017 and, after November 2017, the applicant's attorney intends to expunge the applicant's attorney record.

State of New Jersey v. Brandon Fregm.

The applicant's attorney previously related the following pertinent facts:

On March 9, 2015, Mr. Brandon Fregm, a resident of Brogue, Pennsylvania, traveled to New Jersey with a friend in order to purchase an automobile. During their drive home, Mr. Fregm's friend, Matthew Weinholt, drove Mr. Fregm's original vehicle, while Mr. Fregm drove the vehicle that he had just purchased. While passing through the township of Branchburg, New Jersey, Mr. Weinholt was pulled over for an alleged seatbelt violation. After observing that his friend had been stopped, Mr. Fregm returned to the scene of Mr. Weinholt's traffic stop to wait for his friend.

During the course of the traffic stop, Mr. Weinholt informed the police officer that there was a handgun in the vehicle he was driving. The police subsequently searched the vehicle and found Mr. Fregm's Heckler & Koch P2000 .40 caliber handgun. When questioned about the presence of the firearm in the vehicle, Mr. Fregm stated that he did not remember that he had left the firearm in the vehicle when he came to New Jersey.

Mr. Fregm was charged with one count of violating N.J.S. § 2C:39-5b (second degree unlawful possession of a handgun). He was also charged with traffic violations under N.J.S. §39:3-15 (touring privileges) and N.J.S. §39:3-33 (displaying fictitious plates). N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:39-5b falls under the Graves Act, which enhances penalties for mere possessory offenses, imposing mandatory terms of imprisonment for 42 months, even for first-time offenders.

At issue is whether Mr. Fregm would be eligible for entry into the pre-trial intervention program, a supervisory program created for certain individuals that would result in the dismissal of charges if successfully completed. Counsel for Mr. Fregm has submitted an application to the pre-trial intervention program on his behalf.

The applicant's attorney stresses that Mr. Fregm-a family man, former Marine, and of modest means-mistakenly transported his lawfully owned firearm (lawfully owned in Pennsylvania) into another state in which he did not have the necessary authorization to possess said firearm. It is not alleged that Mr. Fregm used, or threatened to use, his firearm in an unlawful manner.

However, the district attorney's office filed an objection and the matter was appealed and the trial court reversed the state's PTI denial. The state then appealed to a state appellate court. Briefs were submitted in April 2016. On October 17, 2016, the New Jersey Appellate Division revered and remanded to the trial court, thus denying the applicant's entry into PTI.

The applicant did not have good grounds to have the evidence suppressed. As the applicant was facing up to ten (10) years in prison with a minimum mandatory of 3 ½ years, the applicant pled to a non-custodial second degree unlawful possession of a firearm, effective March 10, 2017. This matter may now be considered closed.

State of New Jersey v. Michael Lopez.

Mr. Lopez was a Marine stationed in Florida. His personal residence is in Pennsylvania. While on leave in New Jersey, he was in a one person accident and his "On Star" called 911. When police arrived he provided them with his license to carry a pistol, issued in Pennsylvania, and notified them of the pistol under his passenger seat. The car was impounded and he was charged with careless driving and one count of unlawful possession of a handgun, a second degree felony which carries a mandatory penalty. Mr. Lopez applied for admission into New Jersey's Pre-Trial Intervention (PTI) program, which will result in a dismissal of the charges if Mr. Lopez has no further infractions in the next 36 months. Mr. Lopez was approved for and entered into PTI in November 2015. He successfully completed PTI.

However, on November 14, 2016, the applicant died in an accident. In May of 2017, the applicant's attorney petitioned for and was granted a post mortem expungement of Sgt. Lopez's record. The applicant's mother and father wanted his record, and the family's reputation, cleared. The applicant's attorney is presently working to try and get the firearm that was seized returned to the applicant's mother or to an FFL dealer.

State of New Jersey v. Hishashi Pompey.

The issue was whether the federal Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act, 18 U.S. Code sec. 926B, applies to him. He was charged and convicted of unlawful possession of a handgun; a possible five year term of imprisonment with a minimum imprisonment of three years.

On April 15, 2016, the trial court denied the applicant's post-conviction relief motion but stayed his sentence pending appeal.

On February 17, 2017, the Appellate Division upheld the applicants' conviction and the denial of post-conviction relief.

On April 14, 2017, Governor Chris Christie commuted Sgt. Pompey's sentence so that he does not have to serve jail time. The applicant's attorney recently filed a petition for a full pardon. The petition is pending, and the applicant's attorney is currently further updating the petition in the hopes that the Governor will consider a full pardon.

State of New Jersey v. Michael A. Rivera, II.

The applicant's attorney relates the following pertinent facts:

Mr. Michael Rivera was a former resident of Florida who moved to New Jersey to reside with his girlfriend, Ms. Loraine Torres. Mr. Rivera possessed a New Jersey firearms purchaser identification card and a permit to carry issued by the State of Florida.

On May 21, 2015, Mr. Rivera was involved in a verbal altercation with Ms. Torres. The altercation became physical when, in an alleged attempt to harm herself, Ms. Torres attempted to swallow a bottle of pills. In an effort to physically restrain her from doing so, Mr. Rivera tazed Ms. Torres with a stun gun. The altercation ended when Mr. Rivera and Ms. Torres were separated by Ms. Torres' son.

Three days later, Ms. Torres contacted the local police department and stated that she had broken up with her boyfriend, and asked that his weapons be removed from her home, because she was concerned for her safety and that of her son. Ms. Torres showed the responding officer two locked safes in the home in which Mr. Rivera allegedly kept several firearms, described the recent physical altercation between the two, and presented the officer with the stun gun that Mr. Rivera had used on her. The police seized the two safes, the stun gun, ammunition containers, and several other items of firearms paraphernalia. Mr. Rivera was not present when the seizures occurred. The seizures were carried out pursuant to N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C: 25-21d, which authorizes law enforcement, upon responding to a domestic violence call, to "seize any weapon that is contraband, evidence or an instrumentality of a crime." Responding officers must inquire as to the presence of weapons on the premises and seize any weapons that the officers reasonably believe place the victim at risk. At the time of the seizure, Mr. Rivera was not charged with assault or any other crime related to the altercation. A judge denied Ms. Torres' subsequent request for a temporary restraining order, although a no contact order was issued.

Approximately one week after the seizure occurred, police obtained a warrant to search the seized safes. After this search was conducted, Mr. Rivera was charged with violations of N.J.S. § 2C:39-3(k) (unlawful possession of handcuffs, a disorderly persons offense); N.J.S. § 2C:39-5(f) (second degree unlawful possession of an assault weapon); N.J.S. § 2C:39-4(a) (second degree possession of a firearm for an unlawful purpose), N.J.S. § 2C:39-3(f) (fourth degree unlawful possession of hollow-nosed ammunition); N.J.S. § 2C:39-3(h) (fourth degree unlawful possession of a stun gun); N.J.S. § 2C:39-3(j) (fourth degree unlawful possession of large capacity magazines); N.J.S. § 2C:12-1(a)(1) (simple assault, a disorderly persons offense); N.J.S. § 2C:39-5(d) (fourth degree possession of a weapon); and N.J.S. § 2C:39-4(d) (third degree possession of a weapon for unlawful purpose).

In October of 2015, Mr. Rivera applied for entry into New Jersey's pre-trial intervention program, which was denied.

The applicant's attorney argued that while N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C : 25-21(d) authorizes law enforcement to seize weapons to protect an alleged victim of domestic violence, the statute does not authorize such seized weapons to be used as evidence in a criminal prosecution, as no warrant was obtained for their seizure. The applicant's attorney contends that the warrant police subsequently obtained to search the safes was infirm, as it was obtained after the actual seizure of the safes had already taken place. In April of 2016, a judge granted Mr. Rivera's motion to suppress all evidence seized without a warrant.

The prosecutor's office has moved for an interlocutory appeal in regard to the suppression of evidence. The prosecutor's office argues that the plain view exception allowed the seizure. The applicant's attorney opposed said petition and filed a motion to dismiss the case based on Caetano v. Massachusetts, challenging the constitutionality of New Jersey's stun gun ban, due to this United States Supreme Court decision holding a similar Massachusetts ban unconstitutional. Caetano v. Massachusetts, 136 S. Ct. 1027 (2016).

The parties await word from the New Jersey Supreme Court regarding the State's petition for cert.

In the meantime, the trial court has been setting control dates, which have resulted in mere off-the-record conferences or adjournments, but is not scheduling the matter for a hearing until the higher court's position is settled.

State of New Jersey v. in the Interest of Douglas Woods.

The applicant's attorney relates the following pertinent facts:

Mr. Douglas Woods' guns were seized as a result of a restraining order entered against his mother, who does not reside with Mr. Woods. The victim alleged that she lived with Mr. Woods. This caused the judge to authorize the seizure of Mr. Woods' firearms. One of the firearms seized was a Winchester Model 190, 22 long rifle with a tube magazine. New Jersey Statutes define "assault rifles" as including semi-automatic rifles with a fixed magazine with a capacity greater than 15 rounds. N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:39-1. The district attorney's office alleged that they were able to fit 16 rounds into the magazine and operate the firearm. The district attorney's office moved to forfeit all of the applicant's firearms as well as revoking the applicant's state firearms identification card, alleging that he is "unfit to possess firearms because he maintained an illegal assault rifle". The applicant's attorney is sought to have the forfeiture action dropped, noting that Mr. Woods has already forfeited the Winchester firearm in question.

Mr. Woods is a veteran and has no criminal record or other disabilities that would disqualify him from possessing firearms, and that Mr. Woods did not realize that the firearm in question met the definition of an assault weapon under New Jersey law.

Recently, the Superior Court ruled in the applicant's favor and, other than the Winchester Model 190, the applicant's other firearms were not forfeited.

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Connie M. Frisbee.

The applicant's attorney relates the following pertinent facts:

In November of 1987, Ms. Connie Frisbee was the victim of a burglary and attempted rape; which occurred in her home, in front of her then 8 year old son. This traumatizing incident caused Ms. Frisbee to obtain a New York State pistol permit, which was issued to her in March of 1988.

Ms. Frisbee maintained her pistol permit without incident for almost 30 years. However, on August 31, 2015, two Chemung County Sheriff's deputies went to Ms. Frisbee's home and seized both her pistol permit and her Smith & Wesson .22 caliber revolver. The deputies did not provide Ms. Frisbee with any paperwork or other materials authorizing the seizures. A county court order, dated August 11, 2015, held, in pertinent part, that "the licensee is a prohibited person, prohibited from possessing a firearm ... pursuant to federal statute [18 U.S.C. Section 922(g) (4)] ... Ordered, that permit #C10609 issued to Connie M. Frisbee, is hereby suspended and any and all weapons issued and licensed under said permit and all firearms, rifles and shotguns be surrendered immediately ...."

The suspension of Ms. Frisbee's pistol permit was based on a 2013 admittance to the Behavioral Sciences Unit (the psychiatric ward) of St. Joseph's Hospital in Elmira, New York. Ms. Frisbee was admitted on July 5, 2013, for observation after overdosing on prescription medication. She was discharged on July 13, 2013. "This was the only time in her life she was ever in a behavioral science unit for any reason." The physician's notes from her stay indicate that she was never found to be a danger to herself or others. Further, Ms. Frisbee's current counselor has submitted a signed letter stating that Ms. Frisbee has no documented history of violence, and that she poses no threat to herself or to others.

The applicant's attorney points out that while state and county authorities cite federal law as the basis for their seizure of Ms. Frisbee's pistol permit and firearm, a provision of the 2013 New York SAFE Act was used to obtain the information that caused the seizure. Specifically, a portion of the SAFE Act mandates that the private health care information of citizens be shared with law enforcement agencies without a citizen's knowledge or consent. This, Ms. Frisbee's attorney argues, is exactly what happened when state authorities requested and received Ms. Frisbee's mental health records from St. Joseph's Hospital without her knowledge or consent.

Ms. Frisbee's attorney notes that Ms. Frisbee is permanently disabled (she has muscular dystrophy) and that her firearm is her only reasonable means of self-defense.

The applicant's attorney lists the legal or constitutional issues raised as the following:

  • The Constitutional issue involves the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution, the right to keep and bear arms.
  • The interpretation of 18 U.S.C. Section 922(g) (4) as it pertains to the specific facts of this case. Specifically, how courts define a person who has been "adjudicated as a mental defective" and "who has been admitted to a mental institution".
  • The constitutionality of the New York Safe Act of 2013 in relation to its infringement on the confidentiality between a mental health counselor and their patients. Specifically, Section 9.46 of the New York State Mental Health Law as created by such Act.
  • Another potential Constitutional issue is Due Process in relation to the procedures for taking away a person's firearms without notice, without an opportunity to be heard prior to the taking of such firearms and the wholesale lack of any safeguards to protect a citizen's rights to keep and bear arms.
  • In New York, the court also notified the paramour of my client that they might soon have the authority to take his firearms simply because he lives in the same home as Ms. Frisbee.

A hearing in Chemung County Court has been continued multiple times.

Knife Rights, Inc., et al. v. Vance.

The applicants' attorney relates the following pertinent facts:

This is a challenge, on Fourteenth Amendment vagueness grounds, to New York City's enforcement of state laws that prohibit "switchblade" and "gravity" knives.

The applicants' attorney describes the case as follows:

This case is a challenge to the vague and unconstitutional manner in which the Manhattan District Attorney's Office and the New York City Police Department enforce New York State knife law. The Defendants routinely arrest and prosecute individuals and businesses for possessing and selling ordinary pocket knives falsely claiming that they are illegal "gravity knives." Under Defendants' approach to enforcement it is impossible to know what knives are legal or illegal. Significantly, the knife possession charges are also being used as a pretext to subsequently confiscate licensed, registered firearms from many of those who have been arrested (including some of the plaintiffs in this case).

The applicants' attorney informs that the standing issue is of import in other firearms related and Second Amendment cases:

Judges in the Second and Third Circuits have for several years been bending standing rules to the breaking point in an apparent effort to stop Second Amendment cases from proceeding (the Gregg Revell Port Authority FOPA case is one example). A loss on the pending appeal in this case further threatens the ability of other plaintiffs to bring firearms-related cases in the Second Circuit, while a win would prove useful in subsequent cases.

The complaint was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York on June 9, 2011. The court dismissed the lawsuit based on plaintiffs' lack of standing. It held that no plaintiff alleged a "concrete, particularized, and actual or imminent" injury that would be "redressable by a favorable ruling." A motion for reconsideration was denied on November 20, 2013. The dismissal was appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit on May 15, 2014. Briefs were filed and argument was held January 13, 2015. On September 23, 2015, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed the lower court's holding that the organizations Knife Rights and Knife Rights Foundation do not have standing, but vacated and remanded the district court's holding as to Copeland, Perez, and Native Leather, finding those plaintiffs sufficiently alleged an injury in fact to satisfy standing.

The favorable Second Circuit opinion is being used in several Second Amendment cases in other parts of the country in cases challenging firearms restrictions. (For instance, a Rule 28(j) submission, citing this case, was filed with the Ninth Circuit in Haynie v Harris, a vagueness challenge to the overly broad enforcement of California's "assault weapon" law.)

On June 16, 2016, the bench trial concluded. On January 30, 2017, the District Court ruled against the applicants. On February 16, 2017, the applicants filed their notice of appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. On June 1, 2017, the applicants filed their opening appellate brief. Two amicus briefs have been submitted in support of the applicants' appeal. The defendants are anticipated to file their briefs on August 31, 2017. The applicants' reply brief would be due fourteen (14) days thereafter.

New York State Rifle and Pistol Association, et al. v. City of New York, et al.

This case is pending in the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Counsel informs as follows:

After reducing most handgun permits issued by the city from full-carry to "premises only" over the course of decades, the New York City Police Department (NYPD) added further regulations limiting the places a premises permit holder could transport a gun to only ranges approved by the NYPD located within the Five Boroughs of NYC, with a small exception for hunting on New York State approved hunting land. This regulation, enforced by revocation of the person's firearm permit (forfeiture of all handguns and essentially a revocation of Second Amendment rights as to handguns) was put into place several years ago and enforced on a case-by-case basis.

This lawsuit, filed in 2013, challenges the law by raising, among other things, the Second Amendment and the right to travel. In February 2015, the United States District Court ruled in favor of the city. An appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit was filed in March 2015. The case has been fully briefed. Argument before the Second Circuit was held on August 17, 2016. A decision remains pending.

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Robert Navarro and the Caldwell Gun Club, LLC.

The applicant's attorney informs as follows:

In March of 2016, the Caldwell Gun Club received a zoning compliance permit for a "private" gun club that may not be used for "commercial purposes." However, according to the applicant's attorney, neither the permit nor the ordinance define a "private" gun club, nor the terms "private" or "commercial."

Neighbors of the club filed a complaint with the zoning enforcement officer, who then revoked the club's zoning permit for non-compliance. One allegation of non-compliance was that the website mentioned instructional classes "to serve our members and the public." The applicant argued that members of the "public" are still required to purchase daily memberships. However, the zoning enforcement officer argued that "allowing members of the public to use the range-even if using it as members-violates the permit." Another allegation of non-compliance was that the range had created a nuisance because the decibel levels were unacceptable. However, there are no decibel limitations in the ordinances.

Despite the fact that shooting ranges are permitted uses in RA-20 districts, the county's zoning administrator revoked the Gun Club's Zoning Compliance Permits because (1) she determined that the 30-bay range she previously had approved violated the county's highly subjective Noise Ordinance; and (2) she used information from the Gun Club's website to speculate that the Gun Club had become "commercial" and ceased to be "private."

The applicant appealed to the Board of Adjustment.

The applicant's attorney identifies the issues in this case as including:

Whether a county enforcement officer can revoke a permit because, on subjective grounds, a permitted gun range has become a nuisance; whether daily memberships can be sold for a "private" gun club in the absence of any zoning regulations specifying what constitutes a "private" club; can a "private" gun club be commercial.

The applicant's attorney argued that there are no definitions of "private" versus "commercial" use in the zoning ordinances, that there are no decibel limitations in the county ordinances, and case law dictates that ambiguities in the ordinance are to be decided in favor of the free use of land. "The nuisance aspect of this case will be difficult for the county to prove when it has no decibel limitations in its ordinance and the decision is entirely subjective. Additionally, the Sport Shooting Range Protection Act of 1997 potentially provides additional protection ... ."

On June 15, 2017, the Board of Adjustment voted to uphold the zoning administrator's decision rescinding the use permit, and effectively shutting down the operation of the shooting range.

The applicant's attorney informs that there were many legal and procedural errors, including, but not limited to:

(1) Only the Sheriff can enforce the Noise Ordinance, and after 60-70 complaints, the Sheriff had not enforced the ordinance. The zoning administrator had no authority to assume powers exclusively delegated to the Office of Sheriff.

(2) The Zoning Ordinance unequivocally required the zoning administrator to provide the Gun Club with a notice of violation so that it could explain or respond. Instead, she proceeded straight to revocation. This is a procedural violation as well as a due process issue.

(3) The County actually argued-despite holdings we provided from numerous appellate cases-that it was not obligated to follow its own enforcement laws.

(4) Because the Gun Club was an appellant of a final order issued by a zoning administrator and a petitioner to the Board, due process required that the Gun Club proceed first with evidence and have the final position at closing. The County refused to follow standard procedure, another due process violation.

(5) There was no citation from the Sheriff to be appealed or heard by the Board. We objected to testimony related to noise on the grounds of relevance and prejudice. Nonetheless, the Board allowed the County to present its case first, which included recordings from the shooting range which we believed were manipulated with volume controls from the hearing room sound booth.

(6) The zoning administrator used the volume of calls to complain about noise as her evidence that she should enforce the Noise Ordinance. These calls, however, were generated by the administrator herself and the county attorney who instructed neighbors to make multiple calls. A government official cannot manufacture the evidence to be used against a citizen.

(7) The County's claims and the Board's findings were contradicted by substantial evidence appearing in the record.

The applicant's attorney informs that the appeal may be accompanied by an action for a declaratory judgment that the noise ordinance is too vague to be enforced and that attorneys' fees may be available pursuant to N.C. Gen. Stat. § 6.21.7.

A petition for Certiorari to the Caldwell County Superior Court was filed and a Writ of Certiorari was issued on July 26, 2017.

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Darrin Brodbeck v. State of Ohio.

The applicant's attorney relates the following pertinent facts:

The applicant, Mr. Darrin Brodbeck, is currently incarcerated, serving 23 to life, after being convicted of the murder of his girlfriend, Ms. Christine Turner, in June of 2006. He has been incarcerated since 2007, after being convicted of murder, domestic violence, and tampering with evidence.

Mr. Brodbeck has maintained his innocence, asserting that Ms. Turner accidentally shot herself while under the influence.

At the time of the incident, Mr. Brodbeck and Ms. Turner were in a heated argument. Both were intoxicated. Ms. Turner had a BAC of .21 and large amounts of cocaine in her system. The fight turned physical. Ms. Turner then shot herself. Mr. Brodbeck called 911 and also went to get Ms. Turner's mother and stepfather. Subsequently, the mother and stepfather and a neighbor were in the house unsupervised.

When the police arrived, Mr. Brodbeck was taken into custody and accused of homicide. According to the police, Mr. Brodbeck had shot Ms. Turner in the hallway, then dragged her into the bedroom, and then back to the hallway. However, the applicant's attorney asserts there is no physical evidence of Mr. Brodbeck shooting Ms. Turner. The applicant's attorney argues that this is a case of a wrongful conviction based on misleading forensics, junk science, ineffective counsel, and police incompetence.

"This funding request is to pay for ... state of the art forensics work ups in order to prove Mr. Brodbeck's innocence ... [and] ... to hire the expert witnesses we need at this time to get back into court for an evidentiary hearing."

On October 28, 2016, the applicant's counsel filed a motion for leave to file motion for a new trial in the District Court of Franklin County, Ohio. The motion was denied in December 2016. Oral arguments in the Ohio 10th District Court of Appeals were held on July 18, 2017. The Court of Appeals issued a written decision in early August 2017 upholding the denial and informing that a post-conviction relief application was the appropriate venue to bring any new evidence forward. A post-conviction relief petition has been drafted but not yet filed.

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Binderup v. Holder.

The NRA's Office of the General Counsel drafted and filed an amicus brief, on the NRA's behalf, in the case pending in the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, which challenges, on Second Amendment grounds, the 18 U.S.C. 922(g)(1) possession prohibition for individuals convicted of a crime punishable by more than 1 year in prison. Daniel Binderup's offense was a misdemeanor charge for "corruption of minors," stemming from a long ago consensual affair with an employee just shy of her 18th birthday. While the crime, corruption of minors, is not a felony, it is a first-degree misdemeanor which can carry a maximum sentence of five years. Under federal law, it therefore falls under the federal felon-in-possession statute. Mr. Binderup did not serve time and the convicting state, Pennsylvania, does not consider him a sex offender and had restored his gun rights a long time ago.

Oral arguments were heard on July 9, 2015 before the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. On April 21, 2016 this matter was consolidated with Suarez v. Attorney General. The Court, sua sponte, ordered a rehearing en banc in the cases and scheduled oral arguments for June 1, 2016.

On May 9, 2016, the Court ordered supplemental briefs to be filed by the parties and amici in regard to the effect of the United States Supreme Court's decision in U.S. v. Bean, 537 U.S. 71 (2002), and the Third Circuit Court's precedent in Pontarelli v. U.S. Dep't of the Treasury, 285 F.3d 216 (3d Cir. 2002), on the case. On May 17, 2016, the OGC drafted and filed a supplemental brief, on the NRA's behalf, addressing said issue.

On June 28, 2016, the Court ordered supplemental briefs to be filed by the parties and amici in regard to the effect of the recent United States Supreme Court's decision in Voisine v. U.S., No. 14-10154 (2016), on the case. On July 7, 2016, the OGC drafted and filed a supplemental brief, on the NRA's behalf, addressing said issue.

On September 7, 2016, the Third Circuit ruled, upholding the as-applied challenges by Binderup and Suarez, in an 8-7 opinion. The Court upheld the standard two step Second Amendment inquiry, ruling that 922(g)(1) did infringe on Binderup's and Suarez's Second Amendment rights, and holding that the government failed to show that the infringement was justified under intermediate scrutiny. Specifically, three judges in the majority declared the law unconstitutional as applied to Binderup and Suarez because their crimes did not involve violence, the facts did not show the crimes were actually serious in a conventional legal sense, and the two men had lived for years as virtuous citizens. Five judges in the majority argued that the "virtuous citizen" approach was too imprecise. They held the federal law unconstitutional when used against anyone with a convincing argument that their crime did not involve violence or any other signs that it was a serious offense. Seven judges dissented. They would not allow an as-applied challenge to the law.

In January of 2017, the Justice Department filed a petition for writ of certiorari with the United States Supreme Court. On June 26, 2017, the petition was denied. This matter may now be considered closed.

Doe, et al. v. Wolf, et al.

Counsel informs as follows:

Pennsylvania has enacted a mental health treatment scheme that allows physicians to commit citizens involuntarily for mental health treatment for up to five days without any judicial oversight. Pennsylvania law also prohibits anyone who has been involuntarily committed under this scheme from possessing firearms. The result is that law-abiding citizens are divested of their Second Amendment rights without having basic due process rights, including the opportunity to go before a court, examine witnesses, or present a case.

On November 16, 2016, suit was filed arguing that the deprivation of their Second Amendment rights, as a result of their involuntary commitments, violates the Due Process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment because it occurs without constitutionally adequate legal process.

On January 30, 2017, the defendants moved to dismiss the complaint, arguing that the plaintiffs have no Second Amendment rights because they were declared mentally ill, and, therefore, cannot challenge the process by which they were declared mentally ill, and were divested of their Second Amendment rights.

On February 13, 2017, the plaintiffs filed an opposition and a sur-reply to the defendants' reply. Oral argument was held before the Court on May 16, 2017. On August 8, 2017, the Court, while not reaching the State's motion to dismiss, did grant leave under seal to allow additional fact investigation to the plaintiffs.

Gould, et al., v. Pennsylvania.

Counsel informs as follows:

This case would be filed in United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania has some of the worst restrictions on disabilities for gun ownership in the country, particularly when it comes to mental health issues. While every state has separate legal provisions for involuntary observation and separately for involuntary commitment, Pennsylvania courts blended the two procedures so that now a person taken in under either provision loses their Second Amendment rights for life.

As a teenager, Ms. Gould was the victim of a violent sexual assault. As a result of that victimization she was taken in for an observational period and then released without formal commitment. Because of that event, twenty years later she is unable to obtain a firearm to defend herself against another possible attack, even in her own home.

A suit was planned to challenge the lack of due process for persons brought in for short term psychological evaluation without a subsequent commitment to be brought on behalf of Ms. Gould and others similarly situated on a facial challenge basis.

For tactical reasons, the named plaintiff was dropped and the lawsuit was brought as Doe, et al. v. Wolf, et al. (see entry above).

Michael Keyes and Johnathan Yox v. Loretta Lynch, et al.

The applicant's attorney relates the following pertinent facts:

Michael Keyes served in the U.S. Air Force and then as a Pennsylvania State Trooper for the past twenty five years. In 2006, following an emotionally troubling divorce, Mr. Keyes was involuntarily committed to the hospital after drinking heavily and making suicidal statements. No firearms were involved or mentioned in regard to the commitment. Mr. Keyes was discharged after approximately two weeks. Mr. Keyes has had no subsequent mental health issues and continued to utilize a number of different firearms in the course of his duties as a State Trooper until his retirement in September of 2015. Although Mr. Keyes was permitted to carry and use firearms in an official capacity as a State Trooper, under 18 U.S.C. § 922(g), individuals who have been involuntarily committed are prohibited in their private capacity from acquiring, possessing, or utilizing a firearm. Therefore, Mr. Keyes is disqualified from possessing firearms in a private capacity.

Mr. Keyes has filed for and received a restoration of his state firearms rights from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. However as this restoration does not affect the federal firearms disability, Mr. Keyes filed a request to have his involuntary commitment expunged. This was denied. An appeal was also denied.

Mr. Jonathan Yox served as an infantryman in the U.S. Army from 2008 to 2012. Mr. Yox was honorably discharged in 2012 as a corporal. During this time, Mr. Yox trained with and used a variety of firearms and explosives, and completed at least one tour in Afghanistan. Upon his return from Afghanistan, Mr. Yox was not recommended for any further psychological evaluation after his deployment debriefing.

In 2012, following his discharge, Mr. Yox attempted to purchase a firearm. A Pennsylvania Instant Check System search resulted in the denial of Mr. Yox's attempted purchase. Mr. Yox appealed to the Pennsylvania State Police, which informed him via letter that he was prohibited from owning a firearm under both 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 6105 and 18 U.S.C. § 922(g). The denial and prohibition was based on the involuntary hospital commitment in 2006 when Mr. Yox was 15 years old. Mr. Yox was emotionally troubled over his parents' divorce and had inflicted several non-life threatening cuts on his legs. Mr. Yox had no further mental health issues, and went on to finish high school with above average grades and serve honorably in the U.S. Army. Mr. Yox currently serves as a corrections officer with the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections, where he possesses and uses firearms as a routine part of his employment.

In 2013, Mr. Yox filed a petition to expunge his juvenile involuntary commitment in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The trial court removed Mr. Yox's state firearms disability. However the federal disability remains. Although the presiding judge agreed that Mr. Yox may safely possess a firearm without risk to himself or others, the judge explained that he was bound by the Superior Court's decision in the Keyes case, and therefore could not grant an expungement. This places Mr. Yox in a similar position to that of Mr. Keyes, in which all state disabilities have been lifted, and each individual has used firearms as an integral part of their employment.

Michael Keyes and Mr. Yox petitioned the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania for federal firearms relief. The matters have been consolidated into one action, Jonathan Yox and Michael L. Keyes v. Holder, et al. (now Michael Keyes and Johnathan Yox v. Loretta Lynch, et al.).

The applicants' attorney contends that under the NICS Improvement Act of 2007, a restoration of the above individuals' state firearms right should be sufficient to restore their federal firearms rights. However, the federal government asserts that the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has not instituted a relief program that complies with the specific requirements of a relief program under the NICS Improvement Act. The applicants' attorney contends that a number of other states have relief programs substantially similar to Pennsylvania's that the government apparently has taken no issue with.

The applicants' attorney furthermore contends that, under Section 101(c)(1) of the NICS Improvement Act, government is prohibited from including the applicants' commitments in the NICS database, because the applicants have been found to no longer suffer from the mental health condition that was the basis for their commitment.

On July 11, 2016, the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania found in favor of Mr. Yox's Second Amendment as-applied challenge, but denied relief to Mr. Keyes on the basis of the law of the case doctrine, holding that the Pennsylvania Superior Court had already ruled on the issue.

The applicants' attorney filed a motion to alter/amend the judgment in regard to Mr. Keyes and a request to make the judgment final in regard to Mr. Yox. On August 29, 2016, the district court granted the request to make the judgment final in regard to Mr. Yox, and took Mr. Keyes' motion to alter/amend under advisement. On September 8, 2016, the government filed an appeal with the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. On January 12, 2017, the Department of Justice informed the applicant's attorney that they were unable to obtain the approval of the Acting Solicitor General for the appeal and, since then, the Government has formally withdrawn its appeal relative to Mr. Yox and stipulated to any request for attorney fees being addressed by the District Court. The Government requested a stay regarding any request for attorney fees until the District Court makes a final determination in relation to Keyes, and the applicant's attorney has consented to that stay.

Although the Government withdrew its appeal relative to Mr. Yox, it continues to litigate Mr. Keyes' case at the district court level. Mr. Keyes' deposition occurred on February 23, 2017 and discovery concluded on February 28, 2017. On March 23, 2017, Mr. Keyes filed his motion for summary judgment. On April 21, 2017, the government filed its cross-motion for summary judgment and opposition to Keyes' motion for summary judgment. On May 5, 2017, Mr. Keyes filed his final redacted response and on June 9, 2017, the government filed its final redacted response. At this point, the parties are waiting on the judge to issue a decision, which is expected within three to six months. The applicants' attorney believes it is highly likely that the District Court will grant Mr. Keyes the identical relief that it granted Mr. Yox and does not anticipate the Government appealing the decision to the Third Circuit.

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In re: Laberge Shooting Range, J.O. 4-247
In re: Jurisdictional Opinion 4-247-Alerted, Laberge Shooting Range
In re: Firing Range Neighborhood Group, LLC.

The applicant's attorney has related the following pertinent facts:

The applicant, Laberge & Sons, Inc., has operated a shotgun shooting range in Charlotte, Vermont for approximately sixty years. The range is available for use by the shooting public at no admission charge. The range's activities have been protected under Vermont's range protection statute and have thus avoided regulation under Vermont's development laws.

In the 1990's, a group of neighbors challenged the range. The State issued a jurisdictional opinion in the range's favor allowing the range to continue to operate.

Two years ago, the plaintiffs asked the State to revisit the jurisdictional opinion, alleging changes to the range justified the elimination of its grandfathered status. The plaintiffs argue that minor improvements to the range require that the range obtain an Act 250 permit. Specifically, the plaintiffs argued that the construction of one new shooting bench and the repair of six existing benches, the erection of three small berms, and the continued collection of donations triggered Act 250 jurisdiction.

Act 250 imposes a noise limit of 70 dBA at the property line, or 55 dBA at the nearest residence. This is a limit that few outdoor ranges, if any, can comply with and one that this range cannot satisfy. The plaintiffs are attempting to circumvent the range protection law, which expressly prohibits neighbors from suing a range for noise-related nuisance claims. If it is held that these minimal changes trigger Act 250 jurisdiction and remove a range's grandfathered status, then no range in Vermont will be able to make any repairs to its facility or make minor improvement to their property without triggering Act 250.

The State issued a new jurisdictional opinion holding that an Act 250 permit was now required. The applicants have appealed the jurisdictional opinion to the Vermont Environmental Court. The plaintiffs unsuccessfully sought to have the appeal stricken as untimely. The plaintiffs appealed that decision to the Vermont Supreme Court, but were unsuccessful in that effort also because they failed to follow the rules for an interlocutory appeal. The Court agreed with the range that the appeal was interlocutory in nature and did not meet the standard for an immediate appeal.

The Environmental Court granted the Range's motion to amend its Statement of Questions (the filing that establishes the scope of the appeal) over the neighbors' objection.

The parties have both moved for summary judgment on May 12, 2017. Various replies and memorandum in opposition were filed by the parties May through June 2017. . The applicant's attorney anticipates that the Court will rule on the competing motions by October of 2017.

North Country Sportsman's Club, Inc. v. The Town of Williston, Vermont.

The applicant's attorney has related the following pertinent facts:

The applicant, the North Country Sportsman's Club, Inc., of one hundred and twenty members, has operated a shotgun shooting range in the Town of Williston, Vermont for approximately fifty years. Under the Vermont range protection statute, local municipalities may not "prohibit, reduce, or limit discharge at any existing sport shooting range." Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. § 2291(8) and § 5227.

In 2004, the Town of Williston enacted a noise ordinance, which, in relevant part, states as follows:

No person shall make, cause to be made, assist in making, or continue any excessive, unnecessary, unreasonably loud noise or disturbance, which disturbs, destroys, or endangers the comfort, health, peace, or safety of others within the immediate vicinity of the noise or disturbance.

Williston, Vt., Noise Control Ordinance § 4 (2004).

The ordinance specifically excludes:

[t]he use of firearms . . . when used for sport shooting consistent with any permitting conditions placed on such use. For sport shooting uses permitted prior to January 1, 2005, the hours of operation will be determined through a written agreement with the Town.

Williston, Vt., Noise Control Ordinance § 6.13 (2004).

The applicant entered into an agreement with the Town of Williston in 2007, limiting the club's hours of operation, reducing the number of events at the club, and requiring the club to provide advance notice to the Town of any special events. This agreement automatically renewed each year, and could be cancelled via notice by either party.

In 2014, the Town asked the club to renegotiate the agreement. The new agreement proposed by the Town sought to further limit the club's hours of operation and the number of special events. The club did not agree to these new terms, and no new agreement was executed by the parties. "Shortly after the Agreement was terminated, on May 6 and 10, 2015, the Town cited the [c]lub for violation of the Town's Noise Ordinance."

The Town contends that in the absence of an agreement as to operating hours, the club was subject to the noise ordinance, that the club's activities violated that ordinance's noise levels, and that the club is only entitled to the state law preemption protection if the club enters into an agreement with the Town as per the Town ordinance. The club's attorney argues that the Town had no right to compel the club to enter into an agreement.

The club then filed a complaint for a declaratory injunction, asking the Vermont Superior Court to find the regulation invalid. The Superior Court held that the Town did not have the right to compel the club to enter into such an agreement. However, the judge also stated - in dicta - that the club could still be required to meet the noise restrictions imposed by the Town noise ordinance. Contrary to the judge's dicta, the club cannot comply with the Town ordinance noise restrictions.

The judge's advice, to enclose the skeet shooting field would be impractical, prohibitively expensive, and beyond the club's means.

On October 25, 2016, the Court entered final judgement in this matter and on October 26, 2016, the applicant filed a notice of appeal to the Vermont Supreme Court. The applicant's appellate brief was filed on December 7, 2016 and the appellee's brief one month thereafter.

In the meantime, the Town agreed to withdraw the noise citation. The parties continued to discuss settlement but the Town wants to impose a hard cap on the number of events that can be held at the Range, something the club does not believe it should have to accept. The Town has initiated the amendment process for its Noise Ordinance in an effort to impose such restrictions by regulation.

On June 2, 2017, the Vermont Supreme Court ruled in the club's favor. As a result, the Town cannot mandate that the applicant enter into an agreement as to the operating hours nor can it cite the applicant for violating the Town's noise ordinance unless there is a material change in the amount of activity at the club.

After the Vermont Supreme Court decision, the Town tabled the draft zoning ordinances that would have incorporated the restrictions imposed on the club. Furthermore, the applicant's attorney is working with a firearms advocacy group to propose amendments that would allow increases in activity at the club.

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Watson, et. al, v. City of Seattle.

This case is pending in the Washington Superior Court, King County. Counsel informs as follows:

This suit was brought by a coalition of pro-gun groups, including the NRA, in response to a "violence tax" imposed by the City of Seattle on firearm businesses in the city. The complaint was filed on August 24, 2015. Following discovery motions for summary judgment were filed. On December 22, 2015 the court ruled adversely to the plaintiffs. Plaintiffs filed a notice of appeal. On April 4, 2016, plaintiffs filed their opening brief.

Since the appeal, the state of Washington filed an amicus curiae brief in support of the city contending that the state does not have sole authority over taxation. The appellate court accepted the brief over objection on June 28, 2016. On July 18, 2016, an amicus brief was filed by state legislators opposing the Attorney General's amicus brief.

On August 10, 2017, the Washington Supreme Court affirmed: a charge intended to raise revenue for the public benefit is a tax. "While courts should be dubious of regulations masquerading as taxes (and vice versa), in this case Watson offers no convincing evidence that the Ordinance has a regulatory purpose or intent. It is a tax." The court held that RCW 9.41.290 preempted only municipal gun "regulation," not taxation. This matter may now be considered closed.

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Goldstein v. Peacemaker National Training Center, LLC, et al.

The applicant's attorney relates the following pertinent facts:

The applicants, Peacemaker Properties, LLC and Peacemaker National Training Center, LLC (hereinafter collectively referred to as "PNTC") are the Defendants in the above-referenced civil action.

The PNTC's range is a nationally recognized shooting range and firearm training center located in Berkeley County, West Virginia. The PNTC hosts national firearms competitions and training events. The range is open to the public and has approximately 1,000 members.

The plaintiffs, Ben and Diane Goldstein, reside across the state border in Frederick County, Virginia. The plaintiffs allege that the activity at PNTC is a nuisance to their enjoyment of their property.

The plaintiffs purchased their Frederick County, Virginia property in 1976. The PNTC opened in September 2011. Prior to construction, the PNTC applied to the Berkeley County Planning Commission for approval of the shooting range. The plaintiffs allege that the PNTC provided an environmental stewardship plan and promised to be "sensitive to neighbors" regarding their noise concerns. The plaintiffs further allege that the PNTC represented to the Berkeley County Planning Commission that the PNTC's goal was to be below sixty-five (65) decibels (dB) during operating hours. Sixty five decibels is the noise level allegedly associated with the sound of a normal human conversation. Further, plaintiffs allege that the PNTC agreed to amend the PNTC's hours of operation in response to the neighboring community's alleged concerns over noise levels.

The plaintiffs contend that, despite the alleged promises, the PNTC has deviated from its published hours of operation, including allowing shooting as early as 7:00 a.m. on both weekends and weekdays, and as late as 7:30 p.m. on both weekends and weekdays. Additionally, plaintiffs allege that PNTC has produced sounds as loud as ninety-four (94) decibels (dB), which is loud enough to damage human hearing.

On September 18, 2015, the plaintiffs filed a private nuisance in the Circuit Court of Berkeley County, West Virginia, against PNTC, alleging violations of both the City of Winchester, Virginia, Noise Control Ordinance, as well as the Berkeley County, West Virginia Noise Ordinance.

The plaintiffs' residence is located in Virginia, and the PNTC is largely located in West Virginia. Choice of law is disputed in this matter. However, regardless of which state's law the court decides to apply, the applicant's attorney argues that the PNTC is either exempt from any relevant noise ordinances, or, any such claims are barred by the statute of limitations.

Under Virginia law, "[n]o local ordinance regulating any noise shall subject a sport shooting range to noise control standards more stringent than those in effect at its effect date." Va. Code Ann. § 15.2-917. The Berkeley County, West Virginia noise ordinance expressly excluded shooting ranges when the PNTC was established - and still does. Further, at the time of the PNTC's establishment, the Frederick County, Virginia noise ordinance contained a list of different zones in which the County's ordinance applies. The plaintiffs' property is not in any of these zones. Therefore, the applicant's attorney argues that under Virginia law there cannot be any noise control standards applicable to the PNTC, as none applied to the PNTC at the time of its establishment.

Further, even if West Virginia law were to apply, the plaintiffs' claim is barred by the statute of limitations. Under West Virginia law,

[a] person who owned property in the vicinity of a shooting range that was established after the person acquired the property may maintain a nuisance action for noise against that range only if the action is brought within four years after establishment of the range or two years after a substantial change in use of the range.

W. Va. Code §61-6-23(c).

The PNTC was established, as an LLC, in June of 2010. Shooting activity at the range began in April 2011. The plaintiffs filed their complaint in on September 18, 2015. The applicant's attorney argues that the plaintiffs' complaint is therefore barred by the statute of limitations under West Virginia law. However, the plaintiff's attorney contends that the PNTC was not established until September 22, 2011, based on a September 22, 2011 Facebook post on the PNTC Facebook page, announcing that "[a]t long last - Peacemaker is open!"

The applicant's attorney argues that the plaintiffs' complaint should be dismissed pursuant to Rule 19 of the West Virginia Rules of Civil Procedure for the failure to join an indispensable party. The plaintiffs' complaint does not include the Shadow Hawk Defense Range, nor any number of home ranges, all of which are located near the PNTC and the plaintiffs' property and allegedly produce sounds substantially similar to the PNTC.

The Court denied the applicants' motion to dismiss and the applicants filed an answer to the complaint.

The applicants filed a motion to certify the choice of law issue to the West Virginia Supreme Court. After briefing, Court denied this motion and the choice of law question remains pending before the trial court.

Discovery is on-going and is being litigated. Limited written discovery has been obtained from the plaintiffs. The applicants objected to disclosing certain information to the plaintiffs, many of which would disclose customer identities. The plaintiffs filed a motion to compel. The Court ordered that the applicants are to produce all responsive documents, including customer lists and files, waivers, profit/loss statements, daily logs, sponsor, competition and training contracts and other documents showing any use of the range.

The applicants do not intend to appeal these adverse rulings and have offered to produce all responsive documents as they are kept in the usual course of business.

The plaintiffs responded to the applicants' renewed request for mediation and agreed to mediate before the documents were to be produced and before a hearing was held to determine what amount, if any, the plaintiffs would be entitled to recover from the defendants for their motion to compel. The parties unsuccessfully mediated the case in mid-March. The plaintiffs made unreasonable settlement demands, demanding more than $ 1,000,000.00 for alleged diminution in value.

After the recusal of the initial judge, the new judge has taken all on-going discovery issues under consideration. The new judge has temporarily stayed the taking of the applicant's principal's deposition.

The West Virginia State Legislature has passed into law a shooting range protection statute, effective July, 2017, which the Governor has signed. Based upon this new law, the applicants have filed a motion for summary judgment. The applicants' attorney expects a favorable ruling on the pending motion for summary judgment.

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