page last updated: November 19, 2003
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Gary Gorski, Attorney for Plaintiffs,
Silveira v. Lockyer
Silveira v. Lockyer
was filed in the Eastern District Court in California in
the year 2000, by California attorney Gary Gorski. It argues for the
individual right of the people to keep and bear arms under
the Second and Fourteenth Amendments. The case seeks to
overturn California's arbitrary ban on semi-automatic rifles -- a gun ban based on
the ergonomic and safety features the firearms possess.
Silveira lawsuit lost in the Eastern District
court and was appealed to the Ninth Circuit, where
it naturally also lost. That loss included a
lengthy, wildly inaccurate rant from an
often-overturned judge who reiterated the absurd
notion that "the right of the people" is
a right of the States. The plaintiffs then sought
an en banc (full court) rehearing in the Ninth
Circuit. While it failed to get that rehearing,
six dissents were included, in support of the
individual right of the people to keep and bear
arms. The case was then appealed to the U.S.
Supreme Court -- on July 3, 2003 -- and is now
being considered for review.
You can see all
pleadings, from the
original complaint to present, on the Status
Page -- and see exactly where the case stands.
The wording of
the Questions Presented to the Supreme Court in the Certiorari Petition
filed the day before Independence Day are as follows:
I. Whether the Court of Appeals erred in denying standing for Petitioner firearms owners and collectors to challenge under the Second & Fourteenth Amendments State statutes restricting such ownership, where Petitioners are: (A) seriously affected by the statutes, (B) in the zone of interests impacted, and (C) would risk prosecution and confiscation by further purchase, sale, transfer, or other noncompliance?
II. Whether the Second and Fourteenth Amendments protect the rights of individual persons to keep and bear arms for family, home, business and community defense, without the threat of forcible state confiscation, compulsory registration, or state-decreed monopolization?
Whether the right to keep and bear arms should be substantially incorporated into the Fourteenth, applied to the States, and
Presser v. Illinois (US 1886) limited or overruled?
Whether the Second Amendment should be held to be part of the Fourteenth Amendment protected privileges and immunities of citizens, as the documentary history suggests, and
Saenz v. Roe (US 1999), applied. Then, whether
United States v. Cruikshank (US 1876), and the
Slaughterhouse Cases (US 1873), should be limited or overruled?
III. Whether the heavily criticized and ambiguous decision of Justice McReynolds in
United States v. Miller (US 1939), decided without argument or counsel for Miller, should be limited or overruled after these 64 years, in favor of a comprehensive opinion from this Court recognizing as fundamental the individual right of family, home, business, and community defense under the Second and Fourteenth Amendment right to keep and bear arms?
IV. Whether a heightened standard of review should be applied to a State statute that specifically impacts fundamental rights expressly protected by the Second Amendment and incorporated into the Fourteenth for additional reasons of family, home, business, and community defense that further emerged after the Civil War with the forced disarming of the freedmen and oppression of their families and entire communities based upon race, as in the Colfax and New Orleans massacres?
V. Whether the judgment of the Court of Appeals should be reversed and the case remanded for trial on the merits, and a record of expert and factual testimony developed concerning the Second Amendment and the specific firearms and factual issues involved in this case?
VI. Whether for remand this Court should order assessment of §1988 interim litigation expenses and counsel fees for Petitioners prior to trial on the merits of the remaining factual and legal questions?
Those are the
Questions for the Justices to hear and decide, should this
case be granted a Supreme Court hearing. They can agree to
hear all, some or none of them. See the Petition for Writ of Certiorari
on the Status Page
for the full text of the Petition. On that page you will also find links to
California's response to the Petition and the
Reply to their opposition to the case.
is set for Wednesday, November 26. See the Supreme
Court docket for the upcoming order revealing
whether or not the Justices will hear this true
Second Amendment case. Or stay tuned to
KeepAndBearArms.com and join our free email list
to be notified as soon as we find out. Join the
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