Case information: Teixeira, et al. v. County of Alameda, et al., No. 13-17132 (9th Cir., amicus brief filed August 15, 2014)
At Issue: This case involves a constitutional challenge to an Alameda County, California ordinance which requires—among other things—firearms dealers be located at least 500 feet away from school zones, other gun dealers, and residential areas. Plaintiffs, three individual California residents along with various pro-firearm organizations, argue that the ordinance violates the Second Amendment by making it overly difficult to sell guns in Alameda County, despite the fact that at least twenty dealers already operate in the area. The district court upheld the ordinance as a constitutional regulation of the commercial sale of firearms, and plaintiffs are now appealing that decision in the Ninth Circuit.
The Law Center’s Brief: Our Ninth Circuit brief, joined by Youth ALIVE!, argues that that the Alameda County ordinance does not violate the Second Amendment as it is part of a historic tradition of regulating the commercial sale of firearms, which the U.S. Supreme Court has expressly recognized as “presumptively lawful.” Moreover, the ordinance places no burden on the Second Amendment right to possess a handgun in the home for self-defense as the ordinance in no way prohibits firearms dealers or the purchase of firearms. Finally, the brief argues that even under intermediate scrutiny—the level of judicial review overwhelming applied to Second Amendment claims—the ordinance is valid because it is reasonably related to Alameda County’s important interest of protecting public safety.