Second Amendment Foundation

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Second Amendment Foundation
Formation 1974
Headquarters Bellevue, Washington
650,000+ [1]
Alan Gottlieb

The Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) is an educational- and legal-defense organization which describes its mission as "promoting a better understanding about our constitutional heritage to privately own and possess firearms. To that end, SAF carries on many educational- and legal-action programs designed to better inform the public about the gun-control debate."

SAF was founded in 1974 by Alan Gottlieb, and as of 2012 it has over 650,000 members.[1]


  • The Gun Mag, a monthly magazine
  • Women & Guns, a bi-monthly magazine
  • The Gottlieb-Tartaro Report, a monthly newsletter
  • SAF Reporter, a quarterly newsletter
  • Journal of Firearms and Public Policy, an annual reference book
  • The New Gun Week, weekly magazine that ran for 45 years, is now "TheGunMag"

Legal action[edit]

Identified as the "legal arm of the gun rights lobby"[2] the Second Amendment Foundation has been victorious, and is currently engaged in multiple lawsuits defending Second Amendment rights.[3]

In 2005, the Second Amendment Foundation and the National Rifle Association successfully sued New Orleans mayor Ray Nagin and others to stop gun seizures in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.[4] On February 12, 2007, Ray Nagin and others were held in contempt of court for violating the consent order.[5] The case is "National Rifle Association of America, Inc., et al. v. C. Ray Nagin et al.".[6]

In 2005, SAF and others sued to stop the San Francisco gun ban. On June 13, 2006, San Francisco Superior Court Judge James Warren struck down the ban, saying local governments have no such authority under California law. The City appealed Judge Warren's ruling, but lost in a unanimous opinion from the three judge panel in the Court of Appeal issued on January 9, 2008. The City then appealed to the California Supreme Court, which reached a unanimous decision on April 9, 2008, that rejected the city's appeal and upheld the lower courts' decision.

In 2006, a suit was filed in federal court against Washington state's North Central Regional Library District (NCRL). "The NCRL's policy of refusing to disable its Internet filters upon request is restricting the ability of speakers, content providers and patrons of the NCRL's public-library branches to access the contemporary marketplace of ideas" by using Internet filters on publicly available computer terminals to block access to constitutionally protected speech, including publications such as Women & Guns magazine, which is owned by SAF. It is claimed the library refuses to unblock such access even at the request of the plaintiffs.[7] Upon certification by the District Court, the Washington Supreme Court held that a public library may, consistent with the Washington State Constitution, filter Internet access for all patrons without disabling the filter to allow access to web sites containing constitutionally protected speech upon the request of an adult library patron. [8] Based on this ruling, the federal district court ruled in 2012 that the public library's policy, including disabling not disabling an Internet filter at the request of an adult patron, was reasonable, was not constitutionally overbroad, and did not violate the First Amendments content-based restrictions. [9]

In 2008, the Second Amendment Foundation and the National Rifle Association successfully sued Washington, forcing the state to restart issuing and renewing Alien Firearms Licenses to legal resident aliens.[10]

On June 26, 2008, following the ruling in District of Columbia vs. Heller affirming an individual Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms by the Supreme Court of the United States, the Second Amendment Foundation filed a suit, known as McDonald v. Chicago, against the City of Chicago to overturn its handgun ban.[11] Alan Gura, who successfully argued Heller before the Supreme Court, was lead counsel in this case. On June 28, 2010, the Supreme Court held in McDonald that the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution is incorporated by the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and applies to the states.[12] In a noteworthy concurring opinion, Justice Clarence Thomas held that the application of the Second Amendment to the states was through the Fourteenth Amendment's Privileges or Immunities Clause.

Following the Heller decision in 2008 in which the Supreme Court of the United States held that the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution protects an individual's right to possess a firearm for private use, the Second Amendment Foundation partnered with Smith & Wesson to create a commemorative revolver. On the right side plate of the revolver, the scale of justice is depicted with the case name across the scale. The balance is in favor of the "Heller" name with the court date of "June 26, 2008" positioned across the top. Underneath the scale, the side plate reads "Second Amendment" and "The right to keep and bear arms" in white lettering. The revolver was presented to the six plaintiffs of the case and will be available for customer purchase in Fall 2008.[13]

On June 29, 2010, following the McDonald ruling by the Supreme Court that the Second Amendment is incorporated against the states, the Second Amendment Foundation, along with Grass Roots North Carolina and three North Carolina citizens, filed a federal suit[14] in North Carolina. The suit, known as Bateman vs. Perdue, seeks to prevent local officials and local governments from declaring states of emergency under which private citizens are prohibited from exercising their right to bear arms.[15] Alan Gura, who successfully argued Heller and McDonald before the Supreme Court, is lead counsel in this case.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]