GOF Sues ATF to Produce Documents

On June 6, 2012, Gun Owners Foundation filed suit in the U.S. District Court for D.C. to compel the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to produce thousands of documents related to Operation Fast & Furious.

Depending upon the outcome of this case, Justice Department officials could spend time in jail.

Last year, GOF submitted a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) which -- not surprisingly -- has virtually been ignored by the ATF. Although the agency has told GOF several times that it would comply with the FOIA request, the ATF has violated each and every one of its self-imposed deadlines.

On March 16, 2011, Congressman Darrell Issa, Chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, sent a letter to ATF requiring production of records related to their involvement in Operation Fast & Furious -- where thousands of firearms were smuggled from the United States to Mexico.

On April 21, 2011, Gun Owners Foundation submitted its own FOIA request to the ATF, to which the ATF has responded in various ways. The agency has sometimes ignored our requests entirely. Several times, ATF has promised (but failed) to produce information by a certain date. And at least once, the ATF suggested we were mistaken, claiming that they had already given us the requested information -- only to follow up that communication with a new promise and new deadline for producing the requested documents.

If the court finds in favor of the GOF complaint, the ATF will have to produce the requested documents or face “contempt of court” charges. Given that media reports indicate the House of Representatives may decline to press contempt charges, Gun Owners Foundation remains committed to pressing this case until justice is realized.

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Gun Owners Foundation Legal Activities And Projects

United States v. Antoine Jones

GOF has filed an amicus brief in the case of United States v. Antoine Jones in the United States Supreme Court in support of respondent, Antoine Jones. Our amicus brief argues that the government's extreme position that the Fourth Amendment does not apply to GPS surveillance on public roadways is insupportable.

The government’s extreme view that the Fourth Amendment is completely irrelevant is made possible only by the Supreme Court’s mistaken jurisprudence that the Fourth Amendment only applies to situations wherein persons have a “reasonable expectation of privacy.” The "expectation of privacy" test for searches and seizures arose without support in the text or historical context of the Fourth Amendment, and has proven wholly inadequate to protect the American people from their government.

The Fourth Amendment has been whittled away and courts have allowed random gun sweeps, among other warrantless searches. If the court agrees with the GOF brief, the Fourth Amendment will be restored to its original meaning.

April 13, 2011 - Connecticut versus Walter Reddy and the Second Amendment

April 4, 2011 - GOA and the Gun Owners Foundation's friend of the court brief urging the Supreme Court to strike down anti-gun Obamacare.

Gun Owners Foundation offers arguements on the Heller II case

Gun Owners Foundation argues that the Seventeenth Amendment providing for the popular election of senators necessarily permits recall of those same officials.

Gun Owners Foundation, Gun Owners of America and Virginia Citizens Defense League filed a brief on April 13, 2010 in support of the MT Firearms Freedom Act. The brief argues that there is no authority for federal gun controls, and that also, even federal law recognizes that MT can have a Firearms Freedom Act.

In U.S. v. Skoien Gun Owners Foundation argues that removing the right to keep and bear arms from felons is not constitutional.

Gun Owners Foundation filed a friend of the court brief on April 2, 2010 in support of an appeal by Steven Skoien arguing that his firearm disability for a domestic violence conviction (a Lautenberg conviction) unconstitutionally violates Mr. Skoien's constitutional right to keep and bear arms. That may not be impaired unless he voluntarily relinquishes his citizenship.

GOF & NRA positions on the Second Amendment as revealed in the Skoien amicus briefs.

GOF/GOA File Amicus Brief in Support in Nordyke v. King in Support of Gun Shows

On August 18, 2010, GOF filed an amicus curiae brief filed supporting petitioner’s challenge to Alameda County, California’s ban on firearms possession on county property, effectively ending gun shows in the county.

The ordinance was introduced by a county Supervisor who, in her own words, wanted to “ban gun shows.” The county claims it was responding to gun violence, but the reality is that the county was simply trying to keep peaceful gun owners from gathering to buy and sell firearms.

GOF’s brief argues that the Second Amendment implicitly protects a private property right to acquire, possess, use and dispose of firearms. Thus, the Second Amendment protects unimpaired commerce in firearms of the kind that takes place at gun shows. California law already heavily regulates firearms, and gun shows are one of the only constitutionally-protected sources of arms.

GOF’s brief then explains the difference between “sensitive places” like courthouses and schools, compared to places like the county fairgrounds. Whereas a courthouse is not open to the public for public use, Alameda County has designated the fairgrounds to be open to the public, including for use in lawful commercial enterprise. Since the County has given everyone a right to use the fairgrounds, the County Commissioners cannot now decide that they do not like gun owners, and prohibit them from using the fairgrounds for gun shows.

Gun Owners Foundation and Gun Owners of America were joined by Gun Owners of California, Inc. in filing the amicus brief in the case Nordyke v. King, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, No. 07-15763.

Chicago gun ban
McDonald v Chicago

On Monday, November 23, 2009, Gun Owners of America and Gun Owners Foundation filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the United States Supreme Court in support of four Chicago residents who are seeking to invalidate a city ordinance prohibiting them from owning or possessing a handgun in their own home. The GOA/GOF brief argues that the privileges or immunities clause of the 14th Amendment is the correct basis for ruling that the Second Amendment protects the individual right of all Americans, not just those living in Washington, DC. This brief also points out the pitfalls of using the due process clause to reach this conclusion.