Mountain States Fights for Federalism, Gun Rights

Jim Manley of the Mountain States Legal Foundation sent me the following review:

Horne v. Flores concerns the concept of federalism—the idea that states and the federal government are independent sovereigns that exist to protect individual rights. Consistent with Mountain States Legal Foundation’s amicus brief, the Court ruled that the concept of federalism was violated when federal courts usurped the discretionary power of state governments to determine how to appropriately manage and fund government schools.

Amicus Brief

McDonald v. Chicago held that the Second Amendment’s protection of the right to keep and bear arms applies against the states. This ruling has opened the floodgates to new litigation over the constitutionality of state and local gun control. One of the first post-McDonald victories is Baker v. Drozdoff, which resulted in the State of Nevada agreeing to lift its ban on functional firearms in state parks.

The amicus brief that Mountain States Legal Foundation filed on behalf of Rocky Mountain Gun Owners and National Association for Gun Rights argued that the right to keep and bear arms is an essential component of citizenship. The brief took a detailed look at the law and culture of the American West. Special emphasis was given to the strict protection of the right to possess firearms and the broad protection of an individual’s right to use self-defense in the West. Ultimately, the brief argued that the law and culture of the West reflects the views of the Second Amendment held by the drafters of the Constitution and the drafters of the Fourteenth Amendment: That the right to keep and bear arms is both an individual and fundamental right, the exercise of which makes self-defense possible and protects against tyranny.

The Court cited the amicus brief in its opinion. McDonald v. City of Chicago, 130 S.Ct. 3020, 3042 n.27 (2010).

Amicus Brief