Scores of America’s “top guns” of the Second Amendment community are gathering in Dallas this weekend for the 32nd annual Gun Rights Policy Conference, and the timing could not be better for the co-sponsors of this event.
The GRPC is a joint operation by the Second Amendment Foundation and Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms. The full agenda may be read here.
A key court win for SAF Thursday could put the “right to bear” arms question before the U.S. Supreme Court. As reported earlier, the U.S. District Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia declined to grant an en banc hearing on SAF’s July victory in Wrenn v. District of Columbia. That’s the case that challenged the District’s requirement to provide a “good reason” in order to get a concealed carry permit in the city.
A three-judge panel found that requirement unconstitutional.
Fox News is reporting that, “The ruling potentially sets the matter on a path to the U.S. Supreme Court, because other federal courts have reached varying decisions in similar cases.”
SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb, in Dallas for the GRPC, told Liberty Park Press that the question needs to be addressed. The District requirement mirrored discretionary concealed carry permit schemes in New York, Maryland, California, New Jersey and elsewhere. Other states, with “shall issue” laws, issue licenses or permits to qualified citizens who are not required to give a “good reason” because, essentially, it’s a right to bear arms, not a need to.
As one veteran firearms instructor has told countless students, criminals don’t call ahead to make appointments and violent crime doesn’t happen on a prearranged schedule. The “good reason” is essentially always there and one shouldn’t need to explain that in order to exercise a constitutionally delineated civil right.
The other half of the conference is the CCRKBA. This group, which Gottlieb chairs, spells out its mission in its title. It’s a citizens’ group focused on the right to keep and bear arms.
This is a right that terrifies the gun prohibition lobby. They are all for the Second Amendment, just so long as nobody exercises it. The mantra from various well-financed gun prohibition groups essentially translates to anti-gun hysteria.
According to a recent estimate by John Lott, President of the Crime Prevention Research Center, there are more than 16.3 million citizens licensed to carry in this country. Lott will speak at the conference Saturday afternoon.
This week’s victory was small but significant, because it sets the stage for a Supreme Court hearing on laws that seem more designed to discourage and prevent the exercise of a right than to protect it.
There is a panel discussion on that subject Saturday afternoon, headlined “Winning Firearms Freedom One Lawsuit at a Time.” That’s the SAF mission, and each little step through the legal labyrinth brings their goal that much closer.