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Goldwater Institute Urges Supreme Court to Respect Second Amendment Rights

October 3, 2023

The Goldwater Institute teamed up with the Cato Institute today to file a brief in an important Second Amendment case now pending before the U.S. Supreme Court. The case—one of only a handful of Second Amendment cases ever to come before the court—involves a federal law that prohibits anyone who has been subjected to a domestic violence restraining order from possessing a firearm. It’s certainly reasonable to want to keep violent criminals from using guns, but as we argue in the brief, this law goes far beyond reasonable regulations.

In fact, it entirely disarms anyone who has been subjected to such an order from having a gun—even if that person has a special need for one, or lives in an entirely different state from the person who got the restraining order. And a person against whom an order is issued has no right even to be informed that the order will entirely bar him or her from having a gun.

We don’t treat other individual rights this way. As the brief notes, “the threadbare procedures set forth in [the federal law] would be considered woefully inadequate to support the abrogation of other fundamental rights such as the ability to petition the government for redress of grievances by attending a city council meeting, or accessing the Internet, or traveling about the country. The right of armed self-defense is no less important and no less entitled to an appropriate measure of procedural due process.”

You can read the brief here.

Timothy Sandefur is the Vice President for Legal Affairs at the Goldwater Institute.



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