I’m very pleased with this new SAF and ISRA lawsuit against Chicago. Though the earlier NRA-backed Benson v. Chicago lawsuit takes a kitchen sink approach, which would include this question, SAF seems to be taking a more narrow strategy. I think this is smart. Depending on what happens, on appeal the court it ends up before might not want a kitchen sink case, and I believe it’s beneficial for us to have a narrow case available as well.
Randy Graham, vice president of Action Target, said, â€œWe believe that citizens have a constitutional right to use and train with firearms in a safe and controlled environment. As a leader in the firearms training industry, Action Target is committed to standing up for these rights.â€
And we want the courts to say that the right to keep and bear is also the right to practice with arms. That opens the door to many possibilities in terms of expanding this right. The First Amendment angle on this is also interesting. It would appear that they are essentially arguing the ban on public ranges prevents education in firearms, which violates free speech. It almost sounds like a stretch, but when you think about it, would a ban on, say, chalk boards be constitutional if it interfered with teaching English Literature? What if there was no reasonable substitute? What if you could show the law was specifically intended to frustrate teaching of English Literature? In a different context it’s very plausible.
UPDATE: John Richardson notes that the Benson complaint has been amended, and is now less of a kitchen sink approach. He also notes which counts they dropped. This looks sensible. A lot of the dropped complaints still made sense, but probably not all for a single case.