You supported three briefs to the U.S. Supreme Court in 2013. But your generosity also enabled us to file four MORE briefs we haven't yet told you about! Today's report covers three of those.
First , we were one of only two groups to file a brief in Abramski v U.S.
The issue: The BATFE — the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives — accused Abramski of being an illegal straw purchaser of a gun, someone who serves as a phony buyer so a felon can acquire a weapon.
Here's what really happened: Abramski took advantage of his policeman's discount to buy a gun for his Uncle. Abramski and his Uncle followed the required procedure perfectly...
- Abramski passed a background check.
- He used a federally-licensed dealer in his state, and another in the state where his uncle resided, to sell the gun to his uncle, after...
- His Uncle also passed a background check.
This was clearly not an illegal straw purchase. But the BATFE didn't like Abramski’s answer to one question on their paperwork.
Abramski answered that he was the gun purchaser. Since he was actually buying it for his Uncle, the BATFE used this as an excuse to prosecute.
In reality, this question was NOT authorized by Congress, so there is no legal basis for making this particular answer proof of a straw purchase.
The BATFE simply created this new category of felony crime out of thin air. Our brief argued this point on Abramski's behalf.
You can read the brief by clicking here: http://www.downsizedc.org/blog-content/abramski-petition-for-cert-amicus-brief.pdf
Keep reading, I'll share some good news about this case below.
Second, we filed a brief in Woollard v Gallagher.
The issue: Mr. Woollard had a concealed carry license he had renewed once. When Woollard filed for his second renewal, he "could no longer demonstrate that he was under a real, imminent threat, so his "permission slip" (to defend himself) was denied.
Our brief on Woollard's behalf argued against "balancing tests," where the Courts weigh our rights against some supposed interest of The State. Such tests were first used to justify the imprisonment of Japanese-Americans during World War II, and have been an instrument of tyranny ever since. You can read our brief here: http://www.downsizedc.org/blog-content/woollard-petition-for-cert-amicus-brief.pdf
Unfortunately, the Supreme Court decided not to hear this case.
Third, we filed a brief in NRA v BATFE.
The issue: Two adults under 21 joined with the NRA to challenge a federal law that bans them from purchasing handguns, as if they were minors. This case could build on the Heller and McDonald decisions, which held that gun ownership for self-defense is an individual right.
Our brief argued that the lower court failed to apply...
- The plain text of the Second Amendment
- The method by which the High Court decided Heller
- The Heller decision itself
Instead, the lower court used a "balancing test" to pit individual rights against so-called "state interests." We argued against this, as part of our ongoing attack on "balancing tests."
We also argued that the law creates an illegal categorical exclusion. In other words...
It targets ALL individuals aged 18-21, because some people that age commit a high percentage of all crimes. The lower court considered this one of the law's strengths, but imagine if the law targeted...
- People over 65, because that age group is most likely to become senile
- All African-Americans, because more than half of all murders are committed by African-Americans
This would clearly be wrong. It is equally wrong for people aged 18-21. You can read our brief here: http://www.downsizedc.org/blog-content/nra-v-atf-petition-for-cert-brief.pdf
We believe this case has an excellent chance of being heard by the Supreme Court.
Speaking of "being heard"...
The Supreme Court has agreed to hear the Abramski case!
Moreover, some of the arguments made in our earlier brief are now being argued by the parties to this case, freeing us to make new arguments.
We are doing that in a new brief!
This will be our eighth brief this year! We are efficient with the resources you provide us. And…
You're making a difference in the Supreme Court. Do you want to continue this progress? If so...
Ideally, we need...
- Two donors to invest $1,000
- 40 donors of varying amounts, including...
- New, or increased, monthly pledgers
Thank you for your support,
Downsize DC Foundation