Press Release from Second Amendment Foundation
Link to complaint
Here's the press release:
SAF CHALLENGES INTERSTATE HANDGUN SALES BAN
For Immediate Release: 5/10/2011
BELLEVUE, WA – The Second Amendment Foundation today filed suit in U.S. District Court in Virginia challenging the constitutionality of federal and Virginia provisions barring handgun sales to non-residents.
SAF is joined in the lawsuit by Michelle Lane, a District of Columbia resident who cannot legally purchase handguns because there are no retail firearms dealers inside the District. The Supreme Court’s 2008 Heller ruling struck down the District’s handgun ban, confirming that individuals have a constitutional right to possess handguns.
SAF and Lane are represented by attorney Alan Gura of Gura & Possessky, PLLC, who won both the Heller ruling and last year’s Supreme Court victory in McDonald v. City of Chicago. Named as defendants are
Attorney General Eric Holder and W. Steven Flaherty, superintendent of the Virginia State Police.
“This is an important issue in the era of the national instant background check,” said SAF Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “The NICS check should allow law-abiding citizens like Miss Lane to exercise their Second Amendment rights regardless their place of residence.”
“Americans don’t check their constitutional rights at the state line,” said Gura. “And since Michelle Lane is legally entitled to possess firearms, forcing her to seek a non-existing D.C. dealer to buy a handgun is pointless when perfectly legitimate options exist minutes across the Potomac River.”
“The Supreme Court has ruled that District residents have an individual right, protected by the Constitution, to have a handgun in their home,” Gottlieb noted. “The high court has also ruled that the Second Amendment applies to the states. Existing state and federal statutes violate both the spirit and letter of recent court rulings and the Constitution, and our lawsuit seeks to remedy that situation.”
The Second Amendment Foundation (www.saf.org
) is the nation's oldest and largest tax-exempt education, research, publishing and legal action group focusing on the Constitutional right and heritage to privately own and possess firearms. Founded in 1974, The Foundation has grown to more than 650,000 members and supporters and conducts many programs designed to better inform the public about the consequences of gun control. SAF has previously funded successful firearms-related suits against the cities of Los Angeles; New Haven, CT; and San Francisco on behalf of American gun owners, a lawsuit against the cities suing gun makers and an amicus brief and fund for the Emerson case holding the Second Amendment as an individual right.
From the complaint:
11. Va. Code § 18.2-308.2:2 bars a firearms dealer from selling handguns, but not rifles or shotguns, to individuals who do not reside in Virginia.
12. Owing to the operation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(b)(3), 27 CFR § 478.99, and Va. Code § 18.2-308.2:2, Ms. Lane cannot take possession of her handguns from the Lorton, Virginia firearms dealer from whom she ordered the handguns. In order to for Ms. Lane to take possession of her handguns, the Virginia dealer must first transfer them to a federal firearms licensee in the District of Columbia, who could, in turn, transfer the handguns to Ms. Lane.