Craig A. Livingston and Crystal L. Van Der Putten File Amicus Curiae Brief in the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals
This week, shareholders Craig A. Livingston and Crystal L. Van Der Putten filed an amicus curiae brief with the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit on behalf of LLF client, The National Shooting Sports Foundation, Inc. The brief supports a constitutional challenge by Plaintiffs-Appellants (who include individuals and organizations/businesses) to that portion of Maryland’s Firearms Safety Act of 2013 which requires individuals to obtain special licensing to purchase a handgun. At the trial court level, the United States District Court for the District of Maryland summarily adjudicated the claims against Plaintiffs-Appellants on the basis they lacked legal standing to prosecute their claims – never even reaching the question of whether Maryland’s Handgun License Requirement (“HLR”) passed constitutional muster. The NSSF amicus brief addresses the standing issue but primarily argues the Second Amendment protects the right to sell firearms (either as a freestanding right or an ancillary right) following the seminal opinions of District of Columbia v. Heller and McDonald v. City of Chicago. Second Amendment jurisprudence has historically focused on the right to keep and bear firearms. The brief argues that because the HLR operates as a complete ban on the right to sell handguns to individuals who do not obtain the required license, it severely burdens conduct the Second Amendment protects – lawful commerce in arms – it should therefore be subjected to a strict scrutiny review.