On Tuesday, President Trump nominated Tenth Circuit Judge Neil Gorsuch to the United States Supreme Court. The Law Center strongly opposes this choice, as Gorsuch’s dangerous, radical view of the Second Amendment prioritizes a gun lobby–backed political agenda over public safety. The Trump administration, showing brazen disregard for the people it purports to protect, have nominated a justice who has gone out of his way to attempt to undermine lifesaving smart gun laws that the vast majority of Americans and representatives on both sides of the aisle support.
During his time on the Tenth Circuit, Gorsuch repeatedly issued opinions aimed at weakening the longstanding federal law that has saved thousands of lives by prohibiting felons and domestic abusers from possessing guns. In one key case, United States vs. Games-Perez, Gorsuch put forth that not knowing one is a felon is an adequate excuse for not holding a felon accountable for illegally carrying a gun. The precedent this interpretation would set (had it not been forcefully rejected by his fellow judges on the Tenth Circuit) would create a dangerous loophole for felons to exploit when caught with an illegal gun and make it all the more difficult for law enforcement to do their jobs.
In another case, United States vs. Reese, Gorsuch again broke with common sense by supporting overturning the conviction of a felon who pled guilty to illegally possessing a gun. In United States vs. Pope, he spoke out in favor of allowing a domestic violence misdemeanant to possess guns, even though this federal law, part of the Violence Against Women Act, has existed without controversy for decades and saved the lives of many American women from dangerous abusers. Even the famously conservative Justice Antonin Scalia supported reasonable regulation of firearms, including smart gun laws that keep guns out of the hands of felons and domestic abusers. Gorsuch’s views are too far outside the mainstream to consider supporting.
In response to Gorsuch’s nomination, the gun lobby has already promised to lead efforts to expand on the Heller and McDonald Supreme Court decisions and make good on their pledge to create a nation armed to the teeth, with untrained and unchecked people openly carrying loaded weapons in classrooms, churches, movie theaters, and more. With a friend like Gorsuch sitting on the highest court in the land, they’ll be one step closer to dismantling the commonsense regulations we’ve spent decades fighting for.
We call on Congress to reject this dangerous and disturbing nomination.