NRA continues quest to expand gun rights

Organization backs gun owners in court.
Associated Press
Apr 6, 2014

The San Diego County sheriff denied Edward Peruta a permit to carry a concealed weapon. Christopher Haga's gun collection was seized, and he was charged with crimes after he was mistakenly linked to a theft of assault weapons from a Fresno-area military base.

The National Rifle Association then lent legal assistance to both men as part of its aggressive legal and political campaign to blunt gun controls across the nation.

Emboldened by a seminal U.S. Supreme Court ruling in 2008 that upstanding Americans have the fundamental right to keep guns in their homes, the NRA has involved itself in hundreds of legal cases, many in California.

That case "unleashed a torrent of litigation," said University of California, Los Angeles Law School professor Adam Winkler, a Second Amendment expert.

Much of it is either started by the NRA or supported by the organization, which offers financial assistance and legal help to people embroiled in lawsuits and legal trouble because they own guns.

Winkler said the latest legal battle over the Second Amendment centers on expanding the right to carry guns outside the home, which is why the NRA is representing Peruta and several other gun owners who are challenging restrictions blocking permission to carry concealed firearms in public.

Peruta filed a lawsuit in 2009 after the San Diego County sheriff rejected his application for a concealed-weapons permit because Peruta failed to show he had a "good cause" to carry a gun outside his home. Peruta owns a motocross track in Connecticut, but he and his wife spend many months each year in San Diego living in their recreational vehicle.

Peruta said he wanted permission to carry a gun weapon for protection, but the sheriff and California law said he needed a better reason, such as that his occupation exposes him to robbery.

"I'm not a hunter. I'm not a collector or a target shooter," Peruta said. "I'm not a gun crazy. But I do want to protect myself."

After a federal judge refused to toss out the lawsuit in 2010, the NRA took over the case for Peruta. "The NRA is the 800-pound gorilla in this fight," he said.

In February, the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, citing the Supreme Court's 2008 ruling, struck down California's "good cause" requirement, ruling that self-defense was a good enough reason to issue a concealed-weapons permit.

The California attorney general and the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence are seeking to overturn that decision after San Diego County Sheriff William Gore said he would abide by the court decision.

"The issue is important: As a result of the decision, residents and visitors will be subjected to the increased risk posed by the carrying of loaded, hidden handguns on the streets of San Diego County by persons with no good cause to do so," a lawyer for the Brady organization wrote in a court filing seeking permission to formally oppose Peruta and the NRA in an appeal.

The 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut — where a gunman used an assault rifle to kill 20 children and six others — led some cities and states to enact laws banning high-capacity magazines, and the NRA countered with lawsuits.

So far, federal judges across the country have unanimously rejected the NRA's legal challenges to these bans. Federal judges in recent weeks have upheld bans enacted by San Francisco and Sunnyvale, a Silicon Valley suburb about 40 miles to the south.

"California has always been sort of one of the front-line states," said Chuck Michel, a Long Beach lawyer who represents the NRA in many of its California-based cases. Michel said the NRA and other Second Amendment advocates have filed "a whole slew of lawsuits" using the 2008 high court ruling to challenge gun-control laws enacted after Sandy Hook.

NRA spokesman Andrew Arulanandam said the group has always involved itself in furthering gun rights in court, but that legal challenges have increased since 2008.

NRA has been involved in "hundreds of cases" and spends "tens of millions" of dollars out of its $300 million annual budget on legal issues, Arulanandam said.

Among the cases is a lawsuit to repeal a Connecticut law that went into effect Monday, requiring a state license to buy rifles. Another is a challenge to New Jersey's concealed-weapons law, which is similar to California's.

Earlier this year, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear two NRA-backed cases. One sought to overturn a federal law barring licensed gun dealers from selling handguns to anyone under 21; the other was a Texas law barring people under 21 from carrying concealed weapons.

The NRA employs about two dozen in-house lawyers and hires many more outside lawyers — including former U.S. Solicitor General Paul Clement — to do battle in courtrooms across the country. It not only takes on weighty constitutional issues seeking to broaden the reach of the Second Amendment but also helps people who find themselves in trouble with the law because they own guns.

The NRA provided financial assistance and legal counsel to Christopher Haga, a gun collector who owns an auto shop in the Central Valley town of Parlier.

In 2011, Haga allowed federal firearms agents to search his house after they were tipped he had some of the 26 AK-74 assault rifles recently stolen from Fort Irwin, Calif. Haga's lawyer Mark Coleman said his client had no connection to the theft and consented to the search after agents assured him they only were interested in stolen guns. After finding none, the investigators left — but they told Fresno police Haga had types of assault rifles prohibited by California law.

Following that tip, Fresno police searched Haga's home and business and seized his gun collection. He was later charged with 35 felony gun counts.

With legal support and money from the NRA, Coleman challenged the legality of the guns search, and a judge sided with him. The district attorney dropped all charges late last year and returned Haga's guns. Haga agreed to remove two of his AK-74s and a submachine gun from California.

The case was more about search-and-seizure laws than expanding gun rights, Coleman said. "But the NRA's help was still valuable," he said.



Nazi Repuglican Agressors.


Republicans and the NRA want our rights protected. Democrats want to make money off of people's ignorance.


THE NRA was founded to train and provide blacks with GUNS TO PROTECT THEMSELVES FROM YOU DEMOCRATS THAT WERE HANGING THEM, Raping their women, burning down their homes! As always you and your liberals somehow hide from being discovered; in the past you covered your faces while today your lie and pretend to be on the minorities side while in truth you enslave them with the stealing of others money and then rewarding others with poor or lazy behavior. Martin Luther King Jr. stated these very reasons for his being a REPUBLICAN. If you support such a political party I suggest you take HOLY out of your posting name.


Don't bother presenting facts to libs like Holysee, they just don't get it. They rail about the NRA but support groups such as Planned Parenthood whose founder Margaret Sanger stated that her reason for founding the group was to practice Eugenics through the use of genocide of those her and her white supremacist supporters deemed "unfit." By unfit Sanger admitted that the Negro was the largest group of those she believed "unfit.". Her mission was to abort as many black babies as she could. Democrats don't like history because anyone who digs past the surface will find one mired in racism. They are disgusting!!! What is even more disgusting is the number of blacks who turn a blind eye to the racism in the Democrat party and continue to pull the lever to keep the crumbs-a-coming.

swiss cheese kat

Well said KnuckleDragger.

Peninsula Pundit

Pass the Kool-Aid!
Knuckle Dragger's buyin'!


james brady said that he would like to give john hinckley a taste of his own medicine. while i understand his sentiment, he and his whole bunch are just hypocritical, do as i say, not as i do politicians..

From the Grave

We're going to need those guns to eventually overthrow our government, which is currently showing signs of being out of control.

The Big Dog's back

Out of control? So working for the people is out of control? You must be a Corporatist.


How is killing them with drone, spying on them and indefinately incarcerating them working for them?


Ignore Dog, he's a plant from the old Soviet Union.


So there we have it. A call for open rebellion.
SR gonna do your job and contact the FBI?
'course not.


I guess Ann thinks a little fiery came at night and waved its wand over America and "POOF", we obtain our Constitutional Freedoms. People REBELLED and DIED to PERMIT you to post your drivel, Ann, and you dishonored their memory with your post.

Thomas Jefferson:
"God forbid we should ever be twenty years without such a rebellion. The people cannot be all, and always, well informed. The part which is wrong will be discontented, in proportion to the importance of the facts they misconceive. If they remain quiet under such misconceptions, it is lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty. ... What country before ever existed a century and half without a rebellion? And what country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure."

AGAIN: "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure."


Please stop quoting The Father of His Slaves out of context.
- Yes... it took a rebellion to correct the Constitution and abolish slavery - something Jefferson favored but knew it would not pass the South.
- It took a hundred-years rebellion to correct the Constitution and recognize a woman's right to vote - there were few if any shots fired.
It took riots in the streets to end a hundred years of conscription of men to die in wars.
- It took a brief rebellion... Shay's to be specific, to give birth to Washington's Second Amendment which he used to end the citizens' Whiskey Rebellion in Pennsylvania.
- It took a hundred years of rebellion, some violent, before the Civil Right Act was signed 50 years ago this week.
Yes, people rebelled, were severely injured, died - and are not forgotten by the Republican Congress. My family has 'heroes' in EVERY war since the early 1700s. Yours?
Yeah, it was a lot 'fiery' but there was no fairy.

swiss cheese kat

There was no rebellion to abolish slavery Ann.

Peninsula Pundit

Leave us not forget the rebellion it took to get corporations to treat workers like humans. With the Pinkertons providing the corporate firepower.
We got a weekend, a 40 hour work week and OT after 40 hours.
How CONveniently that is forgotten.
What we have to avoid is rebellion in the manner the Ukraine has carried it out. Some were against govt corruption, some were against this, some against that. After the revolution, it was easy to re-fracture this alliance of convenience and other parties took control of the govt.
So we can't have some in the streets against Obama, some against the congress, some against the lobbyists and corporations, etc.
Rebellion is great as long as the populace is of one general mind.


First Amendment 'speech' includes open call to rebellion. Yeah, that's what Madison et al intended.

Dr. Information

I will use your same logic and say that the founding fathers 2nd amendment didn't intend that one had to give a Sheriff a logical explanation as to why he wanted to carry as a law abiding citizen.


George Washington requested the Second Amendment after Shay's Rebellion because the Constitution provided no standing army.
He utilized the 2nd Amendment in 1791 to call forth the 'well-regulated' militias of four states to put down the CITIZEN Whiskey Rebellion in Pennsylvania.
Actually, the intent of the 'founding fathers' in the Second Amendment was that ALL guns would be recorded so the Commander-in-Chief - and his commanders would know who was in the 'well-regulated' militia.
The Militia leaders at Lexington and Concord (pre-Declaration, even) knew the location of every firearm in their villages.
Gun control and legislation (formal and informal) are part of the fabric of the American tradition.


Pure rubbish, point and name ONE LAW in US history that forbade ownership of arms for all citizens.
There were laws that did forbid BLACKS from owning guns and it was YOUR DEMOCRATIC PARTY ANN that made those laws!

The other Anti Gun Laws were for the American Indian, then the Japanese in WW2, ALL DEMOCRATIC DICTATED LAWS, and ask the Blacks,Indians and Japanese how they fared with such laws, and Ann wants this for the entire country whose EVERY move is recorded now with NSA and other agencies.


You might want to re-read the Bill of Rights. You know, just so you know what it REALLY says?


"He utilized the 2nd Amendment in 1791 to call forth the 'well-regulated' militias of four states to put down the CITIZEN Whiskey Rebellion in Pennsylvania."

Actually, that would be an act contrary to the intent of the Amendment, since, directly from the Convention debate, one of the concerns that spurred the amendment was that the federal government might use the militia of one state against another.

"The Militia leaders at Lexington and Concord (pre-Declaration, even) knew the location of every firearm in their villages."

No, they didn't - nor did they care. The only militia records kept were of able bodied men. Some brought their own weapons and some were provided weapons from the community magazine. The battles fought at those villages were to stop gun confiscation by the British, aka the lawful government at the time.


From Claypool's Daily Advertiser of 11 August 1794 after the Whiskey Rebellion resulted in rioting and injuries beginning in 1791.

"On August 7, 1794, President Washington issued a proclamation, calling out the militia and ordering the disaffected westerners to return to their homes. Washington's order mobilized an army of approximately 13,000 — as large as the one that had defeated the British — under the command of General Harry Lee, the then-Governor of Virginia and father of Robert E. Lee. Washington himself, in a show of presidential authority, set out at the head of the troops to suppress the uprising."

This was the first use of the MILITIA LAW OF 1792 setting a precedent for the use of the militia to "execute the laws of the union, (and) suppress insurrections," asserting the right of the national government to enforce order in one state WITH TROOPS RAISED IN OTHER STATES.
Even more importantly, it was the first test of power of the new federal government, establishing its primacy in disputes with individual states.


What's your point? You've cited LEGISLATION, which is irrelevant. TONS of legislation has been overturned as unconstitutional, including on the basis of violating the 2nd Amendment. You don't seem to grasp that citing historical actions does not address their legitimacy.


LOL. Right out of revisionist history books.

swiss cheese kat

Ann , you got to stop with the nonsense.

Peninsula Pundit

There was a bill pending in the statehouse addressing this very point in the last few months.
I wonder what happened to it?


"open call to rebellion. Yeah, that's what Madison et al intended"

Well, yes, since they had just finished calling for a rebellion and it turned out pretty well.


See the above to learn the precedent Prs. Washington established to deal with the 'open rebellion' in Western Pennsylvania.

And there is that 'open rebellion' thing 150 years ago that we've been celebrating the last four years. Ask the 700,000 Americans who killed each other how THAT turned out.

Name ONE call for open rebellion that was not put down by the Federal Government...

If anyone dishonors the men and women - and children - who have fought to preserve our freedoms, it is those on here and elsewhere who call for open rebellion. BECAUSE of those battles and those who did and didn't return from them (including several of my ancestors and a brother) YOU have the right and protection to say/write the things you do.


"See the above to learn the precedent Prs. Washington established to deal with the 'open rebellion' in Western Pennsylvania."

See above for what Jefferson, one of the founders who actually did the intellectual heavy lifting, had to say. You ignore the fact that all the founders were keenly aware that this nation's very esistence was the result of armed insurrection against the lawful authority of the time (that being George III and the British Parliament.)

"And there is that 'open rebellion' thing 150 years ago that we've been celebrating the last four years. Ask the 700,000 Americans who killed each other how THAT turned out."

How it turned out doesn't address in any way the legitimacy of any of the decisions and actions undertaken. The net result of the Civil War is that the USA ceased to be a republic bound by mutual consent and became instead an empire bound by force. There is no ethical or ontological difference between the Union forces and the Redcoats 85 years earlier.
"Name ONE call for open rebellion that was not put down by the Federal Government..."

.....and your point there would be? That really proves nothing except that the oligarchy has successfully serviced its penchant for self-preservation. By the twisted logic implicit in your response, the killings in Tianenman Square morally vindicate the Chinese government.

"If anyone dishonors the men and women - and children - who have fought to preserve our freedoms, it is those on here and elsewhere who call for open rebellion. "

Now you're sounding like those statist simpletons who value the institution over the principles it claims to embody. You probably think what made the USA historically unique at its birth was democracy. You probably don't care that Lincoln did more damage to the Constitution than any other president, or even realize that he executed an armed coup against the other two branches of government.