On the Heels of Ezell

An memorandum in support of a preliminary injunction has been filed in the NRA-backed case of Shepard v. Madigan, heavily citing the Ezell ruling a few days before. Shepard is a case challenging Illinois’ prohibition on carrying firearms, and the NRA is asking the district court to enjoin the State of Illinois from enforcing this law. If this were to happen, Illinois will likely quickly follow on the heels of Wisconsin to pass a concealed carry law.

UPDATE: SAF followed up yesterday with an injunction request of its own.

16 thoughts on “On the Heels of Ezell

  1. NRA Files a Motion for an Immediate End to Illinois’ Ban on Right-to-Carry

    Friday, July 08, 2011

    Fairfax, Va. — The National Rifle Association (NRA) is filing a motion for an injunction asking the United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois to immediately strike down Illinois’ complete and total ban on carrying firearms for self-defense outside the home or place of business.

    This week, the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that any violation of the Second Amendment constitutes irreparable harm – a factor needed to receive a preliminary injunction on NRA’s lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Illinois statute prohibiting carriage.

    The NRA filed a lawsuit, Shepard v. Madigan, on May 13 in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois. The lead plaintiff is church treasurer Mary Shepard; joining her is the Illinois State Rifle Association, the NRA’s state affiliate.

    Because Illinois statutes prohibit carrying handguns, they infringe on the right of the people, including Mrs. Shepard, members of the ISRA and other law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms as guaranteed by the Second and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution and are thus null and void.

    — NRA–

    Established in 1871, the National Rifle Association is America’s oldest civil rights and sportsmen’s group. Four million members strong, NRA continues its mission to uphold Second Amendment rights and to advocate enforcement of existing laws against violent offenders to reduce crime. The Association remains the nation’s leader in firearm education and training for law-abiding gun owners, law enforcement and the military.

  2. Not to nitpick but NRA was following SAF if I have the timing right.

    would it be so hard to say something like, “after fellow 2nd A rights group SAF’s victory in Ezell v Chicago, NRA has now joined them in filing separate injunctions against etc etc. Our case …

    share a little credit maybe? Quit looking so egotistical to folks in the know? SAFs success doesn’t hurt NRA, unless the concern is folks will realize they aren’t the only game in town.

  3. I’m receptive to the idea that when NRA works together with an organization on something, they should share credit, and are often bad about that. But these are separate cases. I don’t think NRA, in that instance, needs to do another groups PR for them.

  4. Look at the choice of wording you’re using, “doing their PR for them”.

    That’s the language of competitors, not allies in a pro-gun rights movement. If the goal is greater freedom as opposed to corporate aggrandizement, why on earth is it “bad” to acknowledge your allies successes after the fact?

    Look at the presser, “this week the 7th Circuit found…”. Is it really “doing SAF’s PR work for them” to simply name the case and who brought it?

    I’m sorry Sebastian, gun rights shouldn’t be considered a zero-sum marketing game for the players involved. It should be about promoting the the other guy when they, to use the football analogy again, make a key tackle resulting in a fumble for the only bad guys out there, the anti-gun rights crowd.

    You give the pat on the butt to the defensive back and then start talking about how you are gonna take the ball into the endzone for the win.

    NRA scarcely acknowledges any other gun rights groups exist, and damn near rewrites history to do so when it comes to the mentioning cases that SAF won that form the basis for much of NRA’s continuing good work.

    Obviously there will be disagreements on tactics along the way but a win that helps you deserves honest acknowledgement, not evasive mention in passing.

  5. It shouldn’t be a competition, but it is… and I don’t know how to change that. It’s not just NRA either, believe me. There are a lot of big egos in this issue, and they don’t all reside in Fairfax.

    But that aside, I don’t think any groups owes any other group touting what it’s doing. I don’t expect SAF to mention NRA in their press release about the motion in their case any more than I expect NRA to mention SAF in the press release about their motion in their separate case.

  6. How dare you disagree with me in a polite and reasoned manner! =)

    I do see your point, and agree it isn’t all on one side, I just don’t think it does us any favors in the long run.

    NRA in my view has the least (as in nothing) to lose and the most to gain by being expansive in their acknowledgements of the efforts of other groups and persons.

    They aren’t going to “lose members” to SAF or anyone else just because they laud them for a court win. They have more than enough successes of their own to not feel threatened when somebody else picks up a few yards, especially when they can then publically use them, in conjunction with their acknowledged lobbying power, to close the deal politically.

    Funding-wise being the “bigger person” won’t cost them a dime. All it will do is make them seem more of what they are, the 800-pound gorilla and patriarch of the movement.

  7. I think a little competition can be healthy. When it gets to the point the groups are sabotaging each other it’s a problem.

  8. Competition can only be healthy when you acknowledge you are competing.

    Productive “friendly competition” would be more like “Good job on Ezell SAF, now watch THIS!”


    “Without any other gun rights groups being involved a ruling happened the other day (which we will cite to in our injunction but not name in our presser) and now using that ruling we are going to act in the utter vacuum that exists because nobody is doing anything for gun rights in Illinois but us.”

  9. As an Illinois resident I graciously thank both the NRA, and the SAF (I used alphebetical order to list both orgs.) and any others who will help us out.

  10. Matt —

    there is more than friendly competition between SAF and NRA. NRA was set to file suit on the RTC issue in Illinois. SAF came in and had to one up NRA, even after they told NRA lawyers they were not going to file. Letting NRA have this issue was not within SAF’s ego. So they filed Moore.

    SAF appears to be creating conflict within NRA and state assns by tryign to get them to come over and support SAF.

    Its been building under the surface and few will admit to what is going on, but their is a fight brewing. Sometimes SAF appears reckless int heir pursuits and strategy. NRA to cautious. NRA would not want their name attached to a major loss on 2A grounds that sets back the whole issue a decade or more. But mnay individual members want more agressive action and are more understanding of a loss in the courts. It is better to have tried and failed, than to not have tried at all.

    As far as Ezell goes, no one thought the Court would go as far as they did. This certainly was not a make or break case.

    But the court took a broader look at the issue and decided to hand down some guidance to lower courts. SAF than ran out and within 24 hours filed their motion in Moore. NRA was a bit more reserved and wanted to digest Ezell and it’s implications. that doesn’t happen in an instant.

    Look to the two motions and see that their is a differance in approach to arguing the issue, but SAF doesn’t have all the responsibilities that NRA does. They don’t deal in legislation in 50 states. They don’t have to fight all kinds of ordiances at the local level. They just litigate.

    They don’t have to look at Congress and try to get things done or stopped. Sure they send out alerts and try to ride the horse of being pure and not selling out, but politics is sometimes a business of compromising to get whats possible done and coming back later.

    Lots of people take exception with FOPA and some fo the NFA stuff, but fial to understand that if not for FOPA, the 94 Clinton gun ban would have also included a complte ban on full autos by any civilian.

    I applaud SAF for trying. I do not care for some of their recklessness inthe race to be first to claim the PR on the issue. NRA will have to rethink part of their litigation strategy, and toss some of the caution to the wind. But right now Illinois looks to be ground zero on the litigation front.

    There are at least 7 suits that I know of going on right now. More than any other state. SAF had a chance to cooperate on the RTC issue but chose do go a different route. I get it, their PR machine and ability to claim all this action drives their funding and fundraising.

    At some point in the future, both will have to sit down and see if something can be worked out. If not, the current trend will continue.

    But i agree with Sebastian, NRA owes no duty to promote SAF in their releases.

  11. Dozer —

    I’m sorry but this is quite inaccurate. SAF contacted NRA and indicated an intent to work out an arrangement so that they would not have competing actions in Illinois. NRA said it was filing a state court action and SAF said it had a federal court action ready to go that it had been holding off on because of HB148. At the last moment, NRA announced that it was instead going to file a federal case, rather than a state court case, and SAF then filed its federal case.

    It is SAF, not NRA, that prosecuted the Ezell appeal and the SAF attorneys had a good idea of what the Ezell court was likely to say. That is why SAF had a well-prepared set of motion papers and a pile of affidavits ready to file the next day.

  12. David —

    never said that Ezell was a NRA case. It was started by SAF & ISRA, and never hinted otherwise.

    As to knowing what the Court would say in Ezell, is bunk. After Skoien, it was anybodys guss what they might do. knocking out a range ban based upon orals ws likely, handing out a new test to guide lower courts was a welcome relief and any one that claims they knew the Court would do this is on crack.

    As far as the Illinois UUW cases go, The conversations between NRA and SAF were of a nature that SAF ws not going to file. Then somehting changed, SAF says it was because NRA was looking at a state court action instead. My bet is someone ego got in the way and wouldn’t let NRA have the lead on the issue in Illinois. Just my guess based upon what I know about the actors involved and listening to Alan and company at the presser/bloggers event at the convention.

    But why not bring up SAF campaign to undermine NRA with state associations and their targeting of new york and Illinois. How about the efforts to get people to donate to SAf then send copies of the checks to a state assn in an effort to cajole them into picking sides to leg the appearance of legitamacy to SAF’s efforts in a given state.

    SAF has acted like the little brother that never gets attention and is upset that they are not getting their do.

    That NRA continues to be considered #1 in the media and SAF is second to 3rd fiddle. When people talk about the gun lobby, they think NRA. SAF’s complex is showing.

    NRA didn’t do itself any favors by ignoring the that SAF brought the Heller case. But it was an NRA attorney, Bill Howard, that got the Chciago cases fast tracked. SCOTUS took McDonald, and not the NRA case, luck of the draw. But some say it was a decision by the court to avoid the NRA moniker on the case. Doesn’t matter.

    But you can’t ignore that Clement came in and helped save the case. only 1 justice went with PoI. NRA did as much to advance and save the 14th amend case as you guys tilted at windmills.

  13. Who cares about the egos of SAF or the NRA? It is the big picture here in Illinois; the right to defend yourself in your home & on the street. In my mind both motions help the cause tremendously. I favour the NRA lawsuit since it will be heard in a southern Illinois court.

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