Newsletter: SCOTUS Punts on Another Emergency Gun Request

The Supreme Court continued its trend of declining emergency requests from gun-rights plaintiffs to enjoin restrictions.

On Thursday, it denied a request from the gun-rights group suing over an Illinois city’s AR-15 sales ban. The Court didn’t explain its thinking, and there were no dissents. But the move comes despite the Court previously issuing two emergency stays to allow the ATF to enforce its “ghost gun” ban.

So, what does all of this tell us about where the Court has moved on the Second Amendment? That’s the question I try to answer for members.

In other legal news, Hunter Biden followed through on his threat to use a Second Amendment defense over the gun charges that have been filed against him. Remarkably, that could set up a showdown between President Joe Biden and his son over the limits of constitutional gun-rights protections. All while he runs for re-election on a platform of tightening gun restrictions.

In fact, the White House announced a new state-by-state gun-control initiative this week.

Contributing Writer Jake Fogleman also explores the national implications of a new California gun-rights suit. And Smith & Wesson posts a second consecutive net sales gain.

Plus, the pollster behind the NBC survey showing a majority of voters own guns joins the podcast.

The Supreme Court of the United States on November 7th, 2023
The Supreme Court of the United States on November 7th, 2023 / Stephen Gutowski

SCOTUS Again Declines to Take Emergency Action in Illinois AR-15 Ban Case
By Jake Fogleman

Gun-rights advocates’ hopes of emergency relief were unceremoniously dashed by the Supreme Court on Thursday.

The High Court issued an order denying a request for emergency legal intervention in a case against the City of Naperville, Illinois’ ban on so-called assault weapons and “large capacity” ammunition magazines. The request was made by the National Association for Gun Rights (NAGR), which sought an order blocking the ban after a panel of Seventh Circuit judges ruled to uphold it last month.

“The application for a writ of injunction pending certiorari presented to Justice Barrett and by her referred to the Court is denied,” the unsigned order in NAGR v. Naperville reads.

Click here to read the rest.

A closeup of the moto on the face of the Supreme Court
A closeup of the moto on the face of the Supreme Court / Stephen Gutowski

Analysis: What to Make of SCOTUS Denying Gun-Rights Plaintiffs’ Emergency Requests [Member Exclusive]
By Stephen Gutowski

The Supreme Court declined to take up an emergency request to block an Illinois city’s “assault weapons” ban on Thursday.

That’s the fourth emergency request from gun-rights plaintiffs the Court has denied. At the same time, it has acted on two emergency requests by the federal government to intervene in a gun case.

So, what can we make of that?

If you’re a Reload Member, click here to read the rest. If not, buy a membership today to get exclusive access!

A handgun with an optic sight sits on a range table
A handgun with an optic sight sits on a range table / Stephen Gutowski

Hunter Biden Argues Gun Charges ‘Unconstitutional’ in Push for Dismissal
By Jake Fogleman

Hunter Biden launched the opening salvo in a Second Amendment showdown with his father’s administration.

The younger Biden’s lawyers filed a motion in a Delaware federal court on Monday seeking to have his three-count felony firearms indictment for purchasing and possessing a revolver while an active drug user dismissed. The motion argues that each count should be tossed because they rely on criminal statutes that are “unconstitutional under the Second Amendment.”

Click here to read more.

A close up of the White House as seen from Lafayette Square
A close up of the White House as seen from Lafayette Square / Stephen Gutowski

White House Pushes States to Enact Stricter Gun Laws
By Stephen Gutowski

The Biden Administration wants states to enact the gun restrictions it can’t pass at the federal level.

On Wednesday, the White House announced a new effort to institute sweeping firearms regulations state by state. To that end, President Joe Biden issued two new executive orders outlining model legislation he hopes to see adopted by state lawmakers. Vice President Kamala Harris said the administration will continue to push for new federal restrictions but urged states to pass new laws in the meantime.

“I am for the Second Amendment. I am also for an assault weapons ban, universal background checks, and red flag laws,” she posted on social media. “Congress must have the courage to act, but until they do, the states must lead the way.”

Click here to read more.

A Smith & Wesson handgun box
A Smith & Wesson handgun box / Stephen Gutowski

Smith & Wesson Sales Rise Again
By Stephen Gutowski

The nation’s largest gun maker posted a sales increase for the second quarter in a row.

On Friday, Smith & Wesson released its second-quarter earnings report. It showed net sales at $125 million, a nearly $4 million jump over the same quarter last year. That represents a 3.2 percent increase and puts the company ahead of the trend in checks run through the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).

“Top line revenue and unit shipments were both up versus last year, while channel inventories actually decreased slightly in the period,” Mark Smith, Smith & Wesson CEO, said in a statement. “This robust sell through, combined with our shipments outperforming NICS in the quarter by over 7%, underscores our belief that our strong performance was due to share gains at the retail counter.”

Click here to continue reading.

Podcast: NBC Pollster Unpacks Gun Ownership Spike, Political Implications
By Stephen Gutowski

NBC News recently released one of the most impactful polls on gun ownership in America. So, it’s time to take a deep dive into what it tells us.

Who better to do that with than one of the analysts who actually conducted the poll? That’s why we have Micah Roberts of Public Opinion Strategies on the show this week. He and his company run surveys for NBC, CNBC, and a number of political operations.

Plus, Contributing Writer Jake Fogleman and I talk about the failed Senate “assault weapons” ban vote.

You can listen to the show on your favorite podcasting app or by clicking here. Video of the episode is available on our YouTube channel.

Concealed carry holsters on sale in July 2022
Concealed carry holsters on sale in July 2022 / Stephen Gutowski

Analysis: Why a California Gun-Rights Suit Could Have a National Impact [Member Exclusive]
By Jake Fogleman

The Golden State is back in court over gun-carry permits. This time, the ramifications of the suit could extend well beyond the state’s borders.

A coalition of gun-rights groups led by the California Rifle and Pistol Association (CRPA) filed a new federal lawsuit against the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, La Verne Police Department, and California Attorney General Rob Bonta (D.) on Monday. The suit alleges that each jurisdiction violated the Second Amendment rights of gun-carry permit applicants in different ways.

The primary thrust of the lawsuit is over Los Angeles County’s permit procedures, particularly their application processing times and high fees. It alleges that the Sheriff’s Department often takes 15 months or longer to process applications despite state law specifying a 120-day limit. Meanwhile, the city of La Verne, a municipality within Los Angeles County, charges roughly $1,000 in various fees for carry permit applicants, an amount the groups say makes the city an outlier and is unconstitutionally excessive.

However, the claim against the attorney General is more significant since it may have a nationwide impact.

If you’re a Reload Member, click here to continue reading. If not, buy a membership today for exclusive access to this and hundreds of other pieces!

Outside The Reload

The A.C.L.U. Has a New Client: The National Rifle Association | The New York Times | By Adam Liptak

Prosecutors Agree He Shot a Man in Self-Defense. They’re Still Trying To Put Him in Prison. | Reason | By Billy Binion

Susan Collins drafting bill directing military to use intervention laws to seize guns | Maine Public | By Steve Mistler

New Mexico Governor Announces Renewed Assault Weapon Ban Effort Mirrored After Heinrich’s legislation | Santa Fe New Mexican | By Daniel J. Chacon

Gun Ownership As a Hedge Against the Chaos | Discourse Magazine | By David Masci

LAPD moves to accommodate new DACA officers who can’t personally own guns | NBC Los Angeles | By Eric Leonard

Gun Store, Gun Show Promoter Sued Under New Jersey Public Nuisance Law | Bearing Arms | By Cam Edwards

That’s it for this week in guns.

If you want to hear expert analysis of these stories and more, make sure you grab a Reload membership to get our exclusive analysis newsletter every Sunday!

I’ll see you all next week.

Stephen Gutowski
The Reload

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