The Second Amendment Foundation has launched a new national outreach effort reminding gun owners from Fairbanks to Fort Myers that “Gun Rights Depend On You.”
It’s the latest in a string of messages SAF has been using to energize and educate activists, who were recently reminded by Joe Biden near the end of his State of the Union address last week that gun control is still one of his top priorities. Biden suffered some serious setbacks during his first year in office, chief among them his inability to place gun control advocate and former federal agent David Chipman in charge of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
SAF’s emphasis is on the courts, where the foundation has been waging legal battles challenging gun control laws on Second Amendment grounds. The message, appearing online at several news sites, tells gun owners to “demand the courts protect the 2A.” SAF’s ads are appearing on the Washington Times, Breitbart, TownHall, Newsmax, BearingArms and Drudge websites, said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb.
“This campaign will reach millions of people,” Gottlieb estimated. “It would be a significant step forward in our ongoing outreach effort to educate gun owners that the defense of their constitutional right to keep and bear arms ultimately rests in their hands.”
Importantly, according to Gottlieb, “The campaign urges people to support the Second Amendment Foundation’s case currently in front of the Supreme Court to overturn Maryland’s ban on many semi-automatic firearms.”
The Maryland case could determine whether modern semi-auto sporting rifles are fully protected by the Second Amendment, which recognizes the right of individual citizens to keep and bear arms, and highlights the right’s importance to having a militia to maintain “the security of a free state.” Common sense would suggest these are precisely the kinds of arms embraced by the amendment, say gun rights activists, but until the high court hands down a definitive ruling, local jurisdictions controlled by anti-gun politicians will continue setting their own rules.
In June 2010, SAF’s landmark victory in McDonald v. City of Chicago incorporated the Second Amendment to the states via the 14th Amendment. The ruling opened the door for lawsuits by SAF and other gun rights organizations against state and local laws and regulations restricting private gun ownership.
“Right now,” Gottlieb said, “we have more than 30 active court cases challenging various gun control laws on Second Amendment grounds, in several states, including California, Washington, Illinois, New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Maryland. It is our intention to raise public awareness and grab the attention of various courts so these cases don’t end up gathering dust in some perpetual state of ‘pending’ action.”
Civil federal court actions can drag on for lengthy periods, sometimes years. But with the current makeup of the Supreme Court, there is the potential for Second Amendment cases to be more welcome.
“We fully intend to continue our education and litigation efforts wherever and whenever the opportunity and/or necessity arises,” Gottlieb said. “Defending the right to keep and bear arms is a full-time job, and we want our important legal work to advance.”