Had the federal government prohibited bookstores from selling books to out-of-state residents, no court would hold that impacted readers lack standing to challenge such a law under the First Amendment. Barring access to the national market for books would directly inflict an injury-in-fact upon consumers. Federal courts are empowered to fully redress that injury. None of this is particularly difficult or controversial.
But substituting “handguns” for “books,” and “Second” for “First” Amendment, sometimes yields different results. The lower court held that criminal prohibitions of retail handgun sales do not directly impact frustrated consumers where the prohibitions are directed at sellers. The sellers’ compliance with the law in refusing to complete a prohibited transaction, and the prohibition’s impact on the market, are, as far as the lower court is concerned, merely the intervening voluntary decisions of third parties.
The decision below contradicts not only decades of firmly established precedent upholding consumer standing to challenge governmental interference in the marketplace. It squarely conflicts with recent Fifth and D.C. circuit decisions upholding consumer standing to challenge various applications of the same federal statute.
Left unchecked, the opinion below threatens to shut the courthouse door on a broad range of legitimate Article III cases and controversies. This Court’s review is warranted.
May 28, 2013
MICHELLE LANE, AMANDA WELLING, MATTHEW WELLING, AND SECOND AMENDMENT FOUNDATION, INC., v. ERIC HOLDER, JR., et al.,
On Petition For A Writ Of Certiorari To The United States Court Of Appeals
For The Fourth Circuit
[Gun laws in this country are really messed up. This is but one of many, many instances where the Second Amendment is treated like a violently abused person of color that most people want to ignore. People know it’s wrong. People know it’s going on. But almost no one wants to do anything about it and many people try to prevent others from doing the right thing.
This has to stop. Alan Gura and SAF are on the leading edge of bringing the bigots, kicking and screaming, into the 21st Century.—Joe]