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March 25, 2021

NSSF Denounces 9th Circuit Ruling Ignoring Plain Second Amendment Language

NEWTOWN, Conn. — The National Shooting Sports Foundation®, the firearm industry trade association, rejects the legal gymnastics the 7-4 en banc panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit employed to rule the Second Amendment does not guarantee the right to bear arms outside the home. The court’s ruling on Young v Hawaii ignores the clear and simple language of the Second Amendment and U.S. Supreme Court precedent of the landmark 2008 Heller decision and 2010 McDonald decision, which displayed the exact opposite findings.

The Ninth Circuit’s ruling underscores the need for the U.S. Supreme Court to accept firearm-related cases for review to settle the long-standing disputes. Lower courts are repeatedly failing to apply Supreme Court precedents and are, in fact, treating the Second Amendment as a second-class right, as alleged by Justice Clarence Thomas.

“The blatant defiance of the Supreme Court to undermine Heller and hollow out rights afforded to individuals by their Creator and clearly protected by the Constitution is unconscionable,” said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF Senior Vice President and General Counsel. “It is with amazing boldness that the Ninth Circuit brazenly sets aside not just the previous findings of the Supreme Court, which legally they are bound to apply, but actively chooses to ignore plain English and refuses to acknowledge the right to bear arms. We look forward to filing an amicus brief when this heads to the Supreme Court.”

Four sitting U.S. Supreme Court justices have previously expressed frustration with lower courts’ refusal to faithfully apply judicial precedent and frustration with the Supreme Court’s refusal to take up gun-related cases for review. Just last year, 10 cases were pending before the court and all were denied certiorari, or review. Since, Justice Amy Coney Barrett has been seated on the bench and was a stalwart defender of Second Amendment rights during her confirmation hearings in the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee. Justice Barrett testified that Heller affirmed an individual right to keep and bear arms and if state laws were passed to the contrary, the U.S. Supreme Court would be bound to review challenges to those laws.


About NSSF
NSSF is the trade association for the firearm industry. Its mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports. Formed in 1961, NSSF has a membership of thousands of manufacturers, distributors, firearm retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen’s organizations and publishers nationwide. For more information, visit


Media contact:
Mark Oliva
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