Alan Gura is disappointed the Supreme Court said Tuesday that it would not take up a challenge to Maryland’s “may issue” carry laws, but he is determined to get a high court ruling on the right to bear arms.
“This is far from the last chance the Court will have to rule,” the lead attorney in Woollard v. Gallagher told me in an interview Tuesday. “While disappointing, cases continue to develop in lower courts and one may prove to be more attractive to the Supreme Court.”
The Woollard case challenged Maryland law that citizens have to show “good and substantial reason” to get a carry permit. Mr. Gura represents the Second Amendment Foundation in this and the other high-profile cases, including Madigan v. Moore, in which the Seventh Circuit Court overturned the carry ban in Illinois last year.
Alan Gottlieb, the founder of the Second Amendment Foundation said the Woollard news was unwelcome, but not the end of the line. “We have several more legal cases on the right to carry a firearm for self-defense in the pipeline that the high court is aware of,” he told me Tuesday. “Hopefully, they will get to hear one of them in the near future.”
Mr. Gura did not want to speculate on why the high court did not take up Woollard, but offered that perhaps the justices are waiting to see further splits on the carry issue in the lower courts before stepping in to resolve.
The attorney of the firm Gura & Possessky said his next step is to file a petition next month for Drake v. Filko, which challenges New Jersey’s requirement to show “justifiable need” to get a carry permit.
On a larger scale, the the lead attorney in the landmark Heller case in 2008 is deeply concerned about lower courts turning away most gun-control cases by simply deferring to the legislature.
“The Supreme Court needs to rule on the lower courts using rational basis review, which it clearly forbade in Heller” said Mr. Gura. The civil right lawyer is referring to Justice Antonin Scalia’s majority opinion which said that a higher level of scrutiny must be applied when judging restrictions on constitutional rights, especially fundamental ones.
“If the Court doesn’t address the issue, then the Second Amendment is largely a dead letter — it would become mostly unenforceable because there is no such thing as a gun law for which the legislature or police can’t offer a hypothetical justification.”
The high court ought to take up key Second Amendment cases before President Obama has the chance to appoint anti-gun liberals to flip the majority.
Emily Miller is a senior editor of opinion for The Washington Times and author of “Emily Gets Her Gun” (Regnery, 2013).