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Thread: Morris vs Army Corps of Engineers

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    Morris vs Army Corps of Engineers

    A ruling today in the District Court of Idaho grants a preliminary injunction against the Corps' enforcement of its firearm ban for the purpose of self defense:

    http://www.mountainstateslegal.org/n...r#.UtDHucu9KK2

    Case number 3:13-CV-0036-BLW

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    Regular Member BrianB's Avatar
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    This sort of thing just has to drive the gun banners crazy. And that's a good thing. Thanks for posting it.
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    Regular Member Fallschirmjäger's Avatar
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    It's preliminary.... but it also means that I can now Walk to an exercise path a mile from my house rather than drive either 6 or 11 miles.

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    Since this is a CASE heard in the United States District Court for the District of Idaho I don't think it applies as a NATIONWIDE injunction blocking the enforcement of this ONEROUS UNCONSTITUTIONAL Law, but only in IDAHO....

    I would be VERY GLAD to be wrong!
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    The guberment's argument to favor dismissal:

    1st argument:
    Lots of people are there

    2nd argument:
    Lots of generators are there

    3rd argument:
    The Corps can extremely limit 2nd amendment rights because there is no law requiring them to make sites available to the public


    Retarded thought processes hoping for a judge with will ignore RKBA ... did not prevail this time

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    Right to Carry Guns on Federal Recreation Areas, and Right to Possess in Tents

    By Eugene Volokh on January 11, 2014 12:00 am in Guns "Today’s Morris v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (D. Idaho Jan. 10, 2014) strikes down an Army Corps of Engineers regulation barring possession of loaded guns in recreation areas surrounding Corps dams. The court holds that tents are akin to homes, where Second Amendment rights are protected. The court also holds that the Second Amendment protects the right to carry guns as well as to possess them at homes, so that the regulation is unconstitutional even as to carrying outside tents. And the court rejects the argument that the government may restrict such gun possession and carrying on the grounds that the government owns the property, and has no obligation to open the property to the public in the first place."

    http://ia800902.us.archive.org/4/ite...32180.42.0.pdf

    Thanks to Charles Nichols for the pointer.
    http://www.volokh.com/2014/01/11/rig...s-tents-areas/

    Hmm, don't we know that name, Charles Nichols, from around here? Ahh, yes, Charles Nichols - President of California Right To Carry and user "California Right To Carry."

    ETA: And having read the nicely argued decision, I wonder at the dealings that relegated the OP to the Idaho sub-forum. The decision enjoins the CoE from enforcing a regulation of national scope.
    Last edited by Nightmare; 01-11-2014 at 07:01 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeSparky View Post
    Since this is a CASE heard in the United States District Court for the District of Idaho I don't think it applies as a NATIONWIDE injunction blocking the enforcement of this ONEROUS UNCONSTITUTIONAL Law, but only in IDAHO....

    I would be VERY GLAD to be wrong!
    Curious about that as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nightmare View Post
    By Eugene Volokh on January 11, 2014 12:00 am in Guns "Today’s Morris v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (D. Idaho Jan. 10, 2014) strikes down an Army Corps of Engineers regulation barring possession of loaded guns in recreation areas surrounding Corps dams. The court holds that tents are akin to homes, where Second Amendment rights are protected. The court also holds that the Second Amendment protects the right to carry guns as well as to possess them at homes, so that the regulation is unconstitutional even as to carrying outside tents. And the court rejects the argument that the government may restrict such gun possession and carrying on the grounds that the government owns the property, and has no obligation to open the property to the public in the first place."

    http://ia800902.us.archive.org/4/ite...32180.42.0.pdf



    http://www.volokh.com/2014/01/11/rig...s-tents-areas/

    Hmm, don't we know that name, Charles Nichols, from around here? Ahh, yes, Charles Nichols - President of California Right To Carry and user "California Right To Carry."

    ETA: And having read the nicely argued decision, I wonder at the dealings that relegated the OP to the Idaho sub-forum. The decision enjoins the CoE from enforcing a regulation of national scope.
    Great research and post.
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    Eugene Volokh sees appeal to prelim injunction to be in force until further notice

    ORDER

    In accordance with the Memorandum Decision set forth above,
    NOW THEREFORE IT IS HEREBY ORDERED, that the motion to dismiss
    (docket no. 30) is DENIED.

    IT IS FURTHER ORDERED, that the motion for preliminary injunction (docket
    no. 4) is GRANTED. The Corps is enjoined from enforcing 36 C.F.R. § 327.13 as to
    law-abiding individuals possessing functional firearms on Corps-administered public
    lands for the purpose of self-defense.
    This preliminary injunction shall remain in force
    until further notice of the Court.

    IT IS FURTHER ORDERED, that counsel shall contact the Court’s Clerk
    (jamie_gearhart@id.uscourts.gov) to set up a telephone status conference to determine
    how this case should proceed.
    DATED: January 10, 2014
    _________________________
    B. Lynn Winmill
    Chief Judge
    United States District Court
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    Regular Member WalkingWolf's Avatar
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    If this goes higher it could affect firearm restrictions on any federal property. This could include DC.

    Let's hope it gets to SCOTUS before Obama or Hillary can alter the court.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeSparky View Post
    Since this is a CASE heard in the United States District Court for the District of Idaho I don't think it applies as a NATIONWIDE injunction blocking the enforcement of this ONEROUS UNCONSTITUTIONAL Law, but only in IDAHO....

    I would be VERY GLAD to be wrong!
    According to my lawyer friend, the way it is written it applies to the Army Corps of Engineers on ALL of the properties it manages, nation wide. However, it is a preliminary injunction and only applies until the case gets a final ruling at trial.

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    Regular Member Fallschirmjäger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rpyne View Post
    According to my lawyer friend, the way it is written it applies to the Army Corps of Engineers on ALL of the properties it manages, nation wide. However, it is a preliminary injunction and only applies until the case gets a final ruling at trial.
    It's a civil suit against THE Army Corps of Engineers, not the Idaho Army Corps of Engineers.
    Like suing WallyWorld, it will have far ranging consequences.

    [Edit] And apparently I'm wrong once again as the Court ruled that the injunction applies only to Idaho due to the manner in which the suit was brought. (October 2014)
    Last edited by Fallschirmjäger; 10-20-2014 at 05:17 PM.

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    Regular Member WalkingWolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fallschirmjäger View Post
    It's a civil suit against THE Army Corps of Engineers, not the Idaho Army Corps of Engineers.
    Like suing WallyWorld, it will have far ranging consequences.
    IMO the ruling down the road should affect all federal jurisdictions. Making carry in DC finally legal. That is if it makes it to SCOTUS before Scalia steps down.
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    Quote Originally Posted by WalkingWolf View Post
    IMO the ruling down the road should affect all federal jurisdictions. Making carry in DC finally legal. That is if it makes it to SCOTUS before Scalia steps down.
    Interesting. Can you take a few minutes to explain how a ruling against the enforcement of a ban on firearms on Corps of Engineers property would make carry in DC legal?
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    Quote Originally Posted by JamesCanby View Post
    Interesting. Can you take a few minutes to explain how a ruling against the enforcement of a ban on firearms on Corps of Engineers property would make carry in DC legal?
    Corps of Engineers is federal property, why would a citizen have less rights in DC than on other federal property or jurisdictions?
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    Quote Originally Posted by WalkingWolf View Post
    Corps of Engineers is federal property, why would a citizen have less rights in DC than on other federal property or jurisdictions?
    You seemed to imply that if this ruling is affirmed by higher courts that it would make carrying in DC legal, generally. Seems to me that if it is affirmed that it would apply only the dis-allowing of the enforcement of the CoE ban against firearms on CoE property.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JamesCanby View Post
    You seemed to imply that if this ruling is affirmed by higher courts that it would make carrying in DC legal, generally. Seems to me that if it is affirmed that it would apply only the dis-allowing of the enforcement of the CoE ban against firearms on CoE property.
    Since the District of Columbia is under the Congress of the United States, even though it has locally-elected officials, it may be considered Federal property, much as the CoE property is federal property. At least that is the way I am understanding the reasoning.

    Which brings up another interesting point: If that ruling is applied to all federal property, would it then invalidate the carry ban on military installations?

    It would seem to me that a court ruling which applies to one set of federal properties would apply to all federal properties.

    That said, I'm not a lawyer and some of the sharp legal eagles on here may have a much better understanding than I do.
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    Activist Member JamesCanby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SFCRetired View Post
    Since the District of Columbia is under the Congress of the United States, even though it has locally-elected officials, it may be considered Federal property, much as the CoE property is federal property. At least that is the way I am understanding the reasoning.

    Which brings up another interesting point: If that ruling is applied to all federal property, would it then invalidate the carry ban on military installations?

    It would seem to me that a court ruling which applies to one set of federal properties would apply to all federal properties.

    That said, I'm not a lawyer and some of the sharp legal eagles on here may have a much better understanding than I do.
    In my opinion, courts tend to rule very narrowly and since this case only involves a specific CoE ban on firearms carry while on CoE property, any higher court opinion could not extend that injunction to federal property in general. I guess stranger things have happened (such as Roberts deciding that the Obamacare premium was a tax), but I really doubt that if this temporary injunction is upheld and made permanent that it would in any way apply to all federal property.

    Besides, DC is not "federal property." It is a legally constituted city administered under Home Rule. While many parts of DC are "Federal Property," DC has its own government and set of laws... Or am I wrong about that?
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    Quote Originally Posted by SFCRetired View Post
    ...would it then invalidate the carry ban on military installations?...
    I doubt it.

    Military installations are not open to the public, as are CoE-administered lands around their dams. For example, you would not be able to carry on the property of the dam itself because of this injunction, not that I can see.
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    Regular Member Fallschirmjäger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WalkingWolf View Post
    Corps of Engineers is federal property, why would a citizen have less rights in DC than on other federal property or jurisdictions?
    Corps of Engineers isn't federal property, it is a branch of the Federal Government/US Army that manages federal property. It is empowered by Congress to enact and regulatory measures consistent with their assigned mission.

    Quote Originally Posted by MAC702 View Post
    I doubt it.
    Military installations are not open to the public, as are CoE-administered lands around their dams. For example, you would not be able to carry on the property of the dam itself because of this injunction, not that I can see.
    It shouldn't apply to carrying across a dam, and I don't think it does now under the 'safe passage' doctrine. Or, at least I hope 'safe passage' applies as I cross Buford Dam on Lake Lanier on a regular basis.


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    Last edited by Fallschirmjäger; 01-15-2014 at 04:14 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpyne View Post
    According to my lawyer friend, the way it is written it applies to the Army Corps of Engineers on ALL of the properties it manages, nation wide. However, it is a preliminary injunction and only applies until the case gets a final ruling at trial.
    I recognize that the way it is written it applies NATIONWIDE but, my question on this is: IS the Idaho District Federal Court ALLOWED to make a nationwide ORDER and enforce it NATIONWIDE not just in the Idaho District? And this is what I based my suggestion that it MAY only apply to IDAHO.
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  22. #22
    Regular Member Fallschirmjäger's Avatar
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    From what I've learned, a District Court handles cases and answers questions on Federal Laws. In this case the suit is against an agency of the federal government and there's only one fed gov in the USA. If the injunction is against THE CoE then I don't see why it wouldn't apply nationwide as would the court's decision.

    I can only imagine the daunting prospect before a defendant who might be forced to defend themselves in 94 different district courts and then perhaps appeal any decision to one of the 12 Circuit courts.

    Then again, I could be smoking crawdads......it's happened before.

  23. #23
    Regular Member WalkingWolf's Avatar
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    If you look at case law on any federal level you will find it littered with? Other case law sometimes not even in the same district. Other decisions on other cases spring off of previous cases. One case that was in our favor was the US V Black case which used Terry V Ohio. I have not researched a case yet where a favorable decision to 2A was made that the judges did not use a previous case as part of the decision.

    This case could clearly affect carry on federal property, or federally maintained property. Most likely it would not affect brick and mortar as there are decisions giving gov the privilege to infringe on that particular case.
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    Regular Member Fallschirmjäger's Avatar
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    A similar suit has now been filed against the Corps of Engineers in Georgia.
    Main thread in the Georgia sub-forum so not as to disrupt this one.

    Now all we need is a few more lawsuits in a few more districts against the CoE.

  25. #25
    Regular Member Fallschirmjäger's Avatar
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    Morris wins


    Short version -
    The temporary injunction is now a permanent summary judgement against the ACoE.
    The ruling applies only in Idaho.

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