Firearms and Civil Rights

Dave Kopel has a very useful synopsis of material on “How Civil Rights Flowed from a Rifle Barrel” at

The status of the lawsuit in which I’m engaged is that, after another suit was dismissed by the D.C. Court of Appeals on grounds of standing (not, as was reported in some venues, on grounds adverse to Second Amendment rights), our lawyers are examining the case to brief the court on how we will proceed in light of the dismissal of the Seegars case. I’ll post later when our lawyers have decided the best path. The most recent filing in our case is here: Download file

7 Responses to “Firearms and Civil Rights”

  1. Brian Radzinsky

    This morning’s Chronicle has a related story on an Oakland man who is being charged with felony assault for shooting a 17 year old drug dealer. And some are calling him a “vigilante.”

  2. Interesting, if the guy had been a police officer who “had seen a 17-year-old reach for a gun, so he drew his own gun and shot his would-be assailant in the arm” he would probably not face any consequences.

  3. Note that the man in question has not been formally charged with anything. Prosecutors are still investigating to see whether any charges are warranted which seems to be normal procedure. He was arrested by the police and released on bail but this appears to have been based on “probable cause” rather than actual criminal charges. Based on the information in the article, I don’t think he should face any charges and don’t think the police should have arrested him in the first place. But let’s not get too excited over this case until the local prosecutor’s office makes a final decision.

  4. Do we as a people, really have any civil Rights or is that only for people from other nations states that our government needs to replace us as a people? and yes I think our government wants us all enslaved for its own reasons.

    think about our borders and ask who are the real enemies of us all? and ask where is Bin Laden?
    Look at the homeless the drug war and the dead in this war, look at the people who are fighting for you and ask why so many have gone to prison? for you or for our so called leaders? ask why and act on it.

  5. Ross Levatter

    I’m No Lawyer, But…

    Tom, it would seem amazing to me if you did NOT have standing. Clearly, you’re a DC resident affected by the law. Equally clearly, you make a fairly straight forward argument that the law has a disparate impact on you, given hate crime issues. How could you NOT have standing?



  6. Tom G. Palmer

    I’m no lawyer, either, so I leave the lawyering to the professionals. (I am, however, quite good as an amateur radiologist, having listened to the radio for years, so I’ve no need for self-styled professionals in that field.)

    The District of Columbia government has moved to dismiss the case in the filing available at . Our lawyers are currently working on their response.

    The case brought up by Brian Radzinsky is certainly an interesting one. I admit, however, that I find Mr. Dawes’s remarks a bit hard to figure out.