Who Is the Second Amendment Foundation? [Video]
The Second Amendment Foundation. a group far less known than the National Rifle Association and with a fraction of the NRA’s resources, is a major player in defining the right to bear arms, through litigation.
Lawyers.com videojournalist Greg Presto interviewed Alan Gottlieb, who founded the Second Amendment Foundation in 1974.
Alan says his group has expanded gun rights for Americans and have had more court victories, outnumbering all the cases filed by all the other gun rights groups combined.
They won two major U.S. Supreme Court cases:
- District of Columbia v. Heller (2008) ruled individuals have the right to keep and bear arms. The case also removed the Washington, D.C. ban on handguns.
- McDonald v. Chicago (2010) removed Chicago’s ban on handguns. The decision incorporated the theory that the Second Amendment is an individual right, which applies to all 50 states.
While these cases expanded and defined the Second Amendment, they were not complete victories for gun rights.
Greg interviews Josh Horwitz, the executive director of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, a national gun control organization based in Washington, D.C. Josh says the Second Amendment Foundation cases also established where gun violence prevention laws are allowed.
Background checks, dealer regulations, reporting lost and stolen guns are now completely constitutional. Josh says while many of the cases are nominal victories for the Second Amendment Foundation, the cause of gun rights might may have been better off if the courts had never decided the legal questions in a number of the cases raised. Now, gun rights advocates cannot claim every background check law violates the Second Amendment. Josh says the NRA actually asked the attorneys in the Heller case not to go forward.
Josh adds for years gun rights groups were able to shout Second Amendment at almost any gun violence prevention proposal. But now, the Supreme Court has specifically said that there are areas of gun law, in which are totally legitimate to legislate. Josh claims the group is losing the vast majority of these decisions.
Alan plans to continue his push, although the high court recently has refused to decide conflicting open carry cases. He hopes to see the gun carry law issue brought before the Supreme Court from the split decisions in the lower courts.
The 7th Circuit ruled that states cannot completely prohibit the concealed carry of firearms. But the 10th Circuit decided the Second Amendment conveys no right at all to carry a concealed,and loaded firearm in public.
If the Supreme Court decides to rule on these cases, expect Gottlieb and his attorneys to be at the forefront of the fight to expand the right to carry loaded handguns. Watch Greg’s full video report, and let us know in the comment section below your views on the Second Amendment Foundation.