By SAF, Special for USDR.
The North Carolina Supreme Court today accepted an amicus brief from the Second Amendment Foundation in a case that challenges the ability of a county ordinance to completely prohibit the construction and operation of shooting ranges, thus preventing the exercise of protected Second Amendment activities inside the county.
The case, Byrd v. Franklin County, revolves around the county’s Unified Development Ordinance (UDO). The state Court of Appeals has interpreted the UDO to “prohibit entirely” the development of shooting ranges in the county. SAF’s amicus curiae brief challenges that interpretation on Second Amendment grounds.
“This is an important issue to the foundation,” noted SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb, “because we had to sue the City of Chicago to overturn their law prohibiting the operation of shooting ranges inside the city limits, while requiring training at a range facility in order to obtain a city handgun permit.
“We believe this judicial interpretation creates an impermissible infringement on the Second Amendment rights of Franklin Countyresidents,” he added.
SAF’s brief was submitted by attorney Camden R. Webb, with Williams Mullen in Raleigh. In his brief, Webb noted that, “Courts are particularly stringent when analyzing laws that extinguish the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens, as opposed to laws that merely regulate Second Amendment activity…and the plaintiffs challenged this ban in part because it did not regulate the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens. Instead, the law banned law-abiding citizens’ rights to maintain proficiency with their firearms.”
“Our brief addresses the crucial constitutional question of whether local ordinances may ban protected Second Amendment activity,” Webb said. “We believe that the North Carolina Supreme Court will apply Second Amendment protections and hold that local laws may not prohibit the lawful use of firearms at shooting ranges.”
“You simply cannot adopt a local ordinance that nullifies the exercise of Second Amendment rights,” Gottlieb said. “We believe the court will recognize this problem and fix it.”
The Second Amendment Foundation (www.saf.org) is the nation’s oldest and largest tax-exempt education, research, publishing and legal action group focusing on the Constitutional right and heritage to privately own and possess firearms. Founded in 1974, The Foundation has grown to more than 650,000 members and supporters and conducts many programs designed to better inform the public about the consequences of gun control.
SOURCE Second Amendment Foundation