San Francisco passed an ordinance (i) requiring that a firearm in a home must be either kept locked or carried on the person, and (ii) prohibiting the sale of hollow-point ammunition within the city. A federal district court in California upheld the ordinances.
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
On appeal, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit applied an “intermediate scrutiny” test and also upheld the San Francisco ordinances. The challengers filed a petition for rehearing en banc on June 25, 2014.
CLDEF filed an amicus curiae brief supporting the challengers’ petition for rehearing en banc. Our brief challenged the appellate court’s use of First Amendment “time, place, and manner” doctrine, which regulates free speech outside the home, and has no place in Second Amendment conduct that occurs inside the home. CLDEF’s brief laid out the proper test for Second Amendment rights, which does not involve judicial balancing, and critiqued the absurdly lax review given to the ordinances by the appellate court — essentially allowing the government to prove its case by making a series of naked assertions about public safety.
On July 14, 2014, the Ninth Circuit denied the petition for rehearing.
U.S. Supreme Court
The challengers to the San Francisco gun law filed a petition for certiorari on December 12, 2014 with the U.S. Supreme Court.
CLDEF filed an amicus curiae brief supporting the challengers’ petition for certiorari. Our brief urged the Supreme Court to grant review of the case because the Ninth Circuit violated the Supreme Court’s directive in Heller that courts should not use “a judge-empowering ‘interest-balancing inquiry.’” Unsurprisingly, the Ninth Circuit did just that, and thus reached the exact opposition conclusion than that reached in Heller. We asked the U.S. Supreme Court to exercise its supervisory role over the lower courts to correct the errors made by the Ninth Circuit, and to ensure uniformity in the application of the Second Amendment across the country.
The U.S. Supreme Court denied the petition for certiorari on June 8, 2015.