State accused of stripping 2nd Amendment rights
Case is 'great example of why gun owners cannot trust government bureaucrats'
Another lawsuit over gun rights has been launched by the Second Amendment Foundation, the group that won the landmark Supreme Court decision affirming that the right to bear arms applies to individual Americans.
The newest lawsuit, filed on behalf of a Georgia resident who is an honorably discharged veteran from the Vietnam War, names as defendants Attorney General Eric Holder and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
It was filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on behalf of Jefferson Wayne Schrader of Cleveland, Ga. The plaintiffs are represented by attorney Alan Gura, who was successful in his Supreme Court arguments in the McDonald case out of Chicago in which the court determined the Second Amendment applies to individuals, not just to state National Guard units or others in the U.S. military. The case struck down far-reaching gun bans.
Gura also argued and won the 2008 Heller case in the Supreme Court that eliminated the blanket ban on handguns in Washington, D.C.
The question at hand is whether a state, in this case Maryland, can deprive an individual of the right to possess a weapon over a misdemeanor.
According to the Second Amendment Foundation, it was in 1968 when Schrader, then 21, was found guilty of misdemeanor assault and battery relating to a fight involving a man who had previously assaulted him in Annapolis, Md.
The organization said the altercation was observed by a police officer, who arrested Schrader, then an enlisted man in the Navy, stationed in Annapolis. The man with whom he fought was in a street gang whose members had attacked him for entering their "territory," according to the complaint.
Schrader was ordered to pay a $100 fine and $9 court cost. He subsequently served a tour of duty in Vietnam and was eventually honorably discharged, the organization said.
However, in 2008 and again in 2009, Schrader was denied the opportunity to receive a shotgun as a gift, or to purchase a handgun for personal protection. He even was told by the FBI to dispose of or surrender any firearms he might have or face criminal prosecution.
"Schrader's dilemma," explained SAF Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb, "is that until recently, Maryland law did not set forth a maximum sentence for the crime of misdemeanor assault. Because of that, he is now being treated like a felon and his gun rights have been denied.
"No fair-minded person can tolerate gun control laws being applied this way," he said. "Mr. Schrader's case is a great example of why gun owners cannot trust government bureaucrats to enforce gun laws."
A .pdf of the complaint is attached.