Interview with Alan Gottlieb Part 2

Leading gun-rights activist offers critical advice

Alan Gottlieb, Director, Second Amendment Foundation

(Editor’s Note: This is the conclusion of Dave’s interview with Gottlieb, the founder of the Second Amendment Foundation and one of the foremost experts on Second Amendment litigation — part 1 can be seen in the October issue of GUNS).

What’s the biggest threat to gun owners right now?

The biggest threat is the opposition, particularly the Bloomberg-funded gun prohibition organizations. The other side is more organized, has more money and more paid boots on the ground than the whole gun rights movement does. You can add them all together and it doesn’t matter — that’s our biggest problem.

The second biggest problem is gun owners … the other side is going use some of the problems we’ve read about in the press with the NRA to try and persuade gun owners to not be engaged.

I don’t think that’s going to work. I think gun owners are going to be engaged, no matter what. One of the problems we face is the NRA may not be spending as much money in 2020. They may not have it to spend … with expenses going out the door with all their litigation and the things with the state of New York and Congress and other places where they’re being attacked, it’s going to be very difficult for them to match the kind of money we really need. That’s why the grassroots effort in this is going to be more important than ever.

The Second Amendment Foundation has a phenomenal track record with litigation — give us a rundown.

We’ve engaged in virtually everything. Starting with the 2008 Heller decision in the Supreme Court, we filed an amicus brief in that case, and our attorney Alan Gura, handled the oral argument and was a key attorney behind the case.

On the day Heller won, the Second Amendment Foundation filed the Chicago lawsuit (McDonald v. City of Chicago) that Alan Gura argued successfully. We won the case, which was really important because it extended Second Amendment rights through incorporation via the 14th Amendment so it is applicable to all the states.
The anti-gunners said if the court ruled our way, it would open the floodgates to all kinds of litigation in the courts — and our opponents were right.

Right now, we have approximately 30 cases going on in the courts on gun rights. The day we won the McDonald case, we filed a case known as Bateman v. Perdue in North Carolina that took out their emergency powers law so they couldn’t suspend Second Amendment rights during snowstorms or hurricanes. This was important because it also took down similar laws in other states as well.

Right now, we have two cases pending with certiorari petitions before the Supreme Court and we have an amicus brief in a Supreme Court case we hope will go to hearing.

Over 80 percent of the case law that’s been made supporting Second Amendment rights has been won by the Second Amendment Foundation and/or our attorneys. That’s an amazing track record that will support Second Amendment cases for generations to come. No matter who files a lawsuit, it will be supported by all of the Second Amendment Foundation victories, to build more victories in the future.

I’m really proud of that. The Second Amendment Foundation has built a foundation in the courts for Second Amendment litigation.

“Our Second Amendment rights are only one election away from extinction, and this election is going to be very important.”

President Trump has been quietly putting conservatives in the lower courts and two conservatives on the Supreme Court. What do you see over the horizon in terms of court activity? Is there something coming up?

Trump has now nominated and confirmed over 100 federal judges on the lower courts. That’s really a phenomenal track record. The Obama administration was trying to slam the courthouse door in the face of gun owners. If Hillary Clinton were elected, that would have surely happened, so this is a night-and-day shift that is going to continue for a couple of years. If Trump gets reelected for a second term, I think the courts will be so pro-Second Amendment it will take decades before the other side can try to unravel it.

There’s a significant number of cases coming up through the pipeline that deal with the right to carry, with semiautomatic firearms being protected by the Second Amendment; there’s just a number of things that we’re looking at that we still need to accomplish so the courts are very important.

Again, what I’d like to point out is the 2020 election is going to be very critical because the truth is, our Second Amendment rights are only one election away from extinction.

As GUNS Magazine readers are aware, the more than 20 Democrat candidates now in the race have staked out positions all in favor of different forms of gun prohibition. It’s no longer about gun safety or “common sense gun control,” they’ve come out for gun prohibition. Gun owners need to recognize that, because if they get elected, the venom being thrown at gun owners is going to turn into legislation, and our rights are really going to be under attack.

When Cory Booker came out earlier this year with his agenda, you ripped Democrats pretty good because none of the other candidates came out with a statement denouncing his proposals.

Cory Booker right now probably sits in the middle of where the other Democrats are on the gun issue. They don’t disagree with him. They’re all with him, and Cory Booker in the past has come out for banning all handguns and for banning all semiautomatic firearms. That’s pretty much what the Democrats really want.

I’m sure there are some Democratic readers of GUNS Magazine and I really would urge them to cross party lines because of that one issue alone, because it’s really about freedom.

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