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Old June 14, 2012, 05:58 PM   #1
Sean Michel n Assoc
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Join Date: January 12, 2011
Posts: 13
Jackson v. San Fran - Updated

On May 17, 2012, attorneys for the National Rifle Association, the San Francisco Veteran Police Officers Association, and several San Francisco gun owners filed a Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings in their legal challenge to San Francisco’s "locked-storage" law, as well as the City’s prohibition on the sale of "hollow-point" ammunition and all ammunition that does not "serve a sporting purpose." That brief is available here: http://michellawyers.com/wp-content/...-Pleadings.pdf

The lawsuit, Jackson v. City and County of San Francisco, was filed as a test case in May of 2009, before the McDonald v. Chicago decision in 2010, and in the wake of the 9th Circuit’s May 2, 2011 confirmation in Nordyke v. King that the Second Amendment is "incorporated", i.e., that it protects against infringements by state and local governments.

The motion asserts that the City has not raised a viable defense, and asks the Court to issue an injunction preventing enforcement and to declare the ordinances unconstitutional. At minimum, the motion will serve to narrow the issues, and to prevent the City from misdirecting the litigation with irrelevant distractions.

The Jackson case was strategically designed to, potentially, be the first case to address the "standard of review" applicable to Second Amendment challenges. The case is legally "cleaner" than many of the Second Amendment cases currently being litigated, as it does not raise issues about public carry, "sensitive places" where a firearm may or may not be possessed, or other issues that might make it easier for a court to water down Second Amendment protections.

The case was, unfortunately, stayed pending resolution of the McDonald case, which ultimately decided the "incorporation" issue at the Supreme Court level. The case was then delayed by multiple rounds of obstructionist preliminary motions filed by the City, including motions seeking to tie the case to a similar problematic case filed by a rogue attorney, who essentially cut and pasted from the Jackson case.

The NRA’s attorneys at Michel & Associates, P.C. have successfully defended against each of the City’s preliminary motions, and even secured an important published "standing" ruling that clarifies the rights of future litigants in the Ninth Circuit to bring Second Amendment challenges to unconstitutional restrictions on the right to keep and bear arms. That ruling is available here: http://michellawyers.com/wp-content/...p_.2d-2011.pdf

The NRA’s early litigation efforts in the Jackson case also forced the City to abandon its policy of outright banning the discharge of firearms, even in self-defense. Initially, the lawsuit included a challenge to the City’s ordinance completely prohibiting firearm discharges which had been in place for nearly 75years. Facing this legal challenge, the City amended its ordinance and it now allows for discharges in lawful self-defense and defense of others, as well as all other circumstances allowed for under state and federal law.

While Jackson was delayed, a panel for the 9th Circuit adopted a framework for Second Amendment challenges in Nordyke that would afford heightened scrutiny only to gun control laws that impose a "substantial burden" on the right to arms. That opinion has since been set aside, however, and the District Court is now free to adopt its own standard of review in the Jackson case, possibly when it rules on the pending motion.

In addition to providing an ideal framework for the Court to address the standard of review issue, the Jackson case is also aimed at developing Second Amendment jurisprudence regarding protections for arms that are in "common use," and the right to commercially transact in firearms and ammunition. Rulings on these issues could pave the way for future legal challenges by establishing important "building block" rulings in less controversial settings.
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