Mance v. Lynch: Amicus Brief Defending Federal In-State FFL Requirement for Handgun Sales


Case Information: Mance v. Lynch, No. 15-10311 (5th Cir. Brief Filed July 20, 2015)

At Issue: Plaintiffs in this case argue that the federal laws requiring out-of-state handgun purchases to be completed through an in-state federal firearms licensee (“FFL”) violate the Second Amendment. In other words, the challenged laws require a person wishing to buy a handgun in another state to have the purchase completed by an FFL that operates in their state of residence. Plaintiffs in this case are residents of the District of Columbia and wanted to purchase a firearm in Texas, but did not do so because of the extra costs associated with the in-state FFL requirement. The district court for the Northern District of Texas found that this requirement unduly restricts access to firearm markets and therefore violates the Second Amendment. The case is now on appeal before the Fifth Circuit.

The Law Center’s Brief: Our amicus brief argues that the challenged federal laws are compatible with the Second Amendment because they place such a small burden on a citizen’s ability to keep a firearm in the home for self-defense. The brief argues that laws imposing background checks and regulating large capacity ammunition magazines are “presumptively lawful” and not protected at all by the Second Amendment. Even if these regulations implicate the Second Amendment, both provisions survive constitutional scrutiny because they are reasonably related to the important governmental objective of protecting public safety and the safety of law enforcement officers.

Read the full text of our amicus brief here.


US Court of Appeals Rejects Challenge to Laws Preventing Young People from Buying Handguns

Last month, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit upheld federal laws and regulations that prohibit federally licensed dealers from selling handguns to individuals who are younger than 21. The Fifth Circuit explained that laws restricting teenagers and young adults from accessing firearms are consistent with a variety of longstanding gun safety regulations, including regulations that were in place at the time of nation’s founding. The court also cited statistics showing that gun crimes are most often committed with handguns and findings revealing that laws restricting access to handguns among individuals who are younger than 21 are associated with less crime.

To find out more about this case, Nat’l Rifle Ass’n v. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, Tobacco, and Explosives, visit our Second Amendment resources.

You can also read about the NRA’s other attempts to weaken America’s gun laws in Extremism in Action – our spotlight on the gun lobby’s radical agenda.

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