Foundation joins Rocky Mountain Gun Owners to Defend Fr. Peter Raleigh

The National Foundation for Gun Rights is partnering with sister organization, Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, to support the legal defense of Fr. Peter Raleigh, a Catholic priest and gun owner being prosecuted under bogus gun charges.

See RMGO’s press release below:

Rocky Mountain Gun Owners Joins Case to Defend Fr. Peter Raleigh

Loveland, CO – Rocky Mountain Gun Owners (RMGO), Colorado’s only no-compromise gun-rights organization, along with the nation’s premier Second Amendment legal foundation, the National Foundation for Gun Rights (NFGR), announced today that they would be backing the legal defense team of Father Peter Raleigh of Holy Innocents Catholic Church in Trinidad, Colorado.

On August 15th of 2020, Fr. Raleigh and a group of parishioners went out to eat at a local restaurant after a day at the shooting range. After being seated, Fr. Raleigh showed his Ruger LCP handgun, after removing the magazine and extracting the round from the chamber, to a guest at the table who was scheduled to receive his concealed carry permit the next day.

This caused an uproar from the table next to them. The police were called, and he was initially charged with possessing a firearm while under the influence – despite no evidence that Fr. Raleigh was intoxicated. Charges were later amended to disorderly conduct – displaying a weapon “in a manner calculated to alarm,” also despite zero supporting evidence.

“This is just another case of a power-hungry DA expressing his anti-gun views on an innocent citizen. RMGO along with NFGR are going to do everything in our power to help out Fr. Raleigh,” said Taylor Rhodes, Executive Director of Rocky Mountain Gun Owners.

Fr. Raleigh’s trial date has been set for May 10, 2021, where Erica Anderson of O’Malley and Sawyer, LLC is representing him.

“After reviewing the case, it is clear the DA’s office has no evidence of misconduct. The old saying goes, the punishment is the process, and unfortunately, the anti-gun District Attorney’s office is using that against Fr. Raleigh,” said Rhodes.

RMGO, along with NFGR, have committed substantial financial resources to help fund the defense of Father Raleigh.

Hannah Hill, Policy Analyst for the National Foundation for Gun Rights, added, “Pro-gun laws mean nothing if they aren’t respected by local authorities. This DA’s office is weaponizing the laws that should protect Fr. Raleigh and using them to carry out a personal agenda. We stand with Fr. Raleigh as he fights these bogus charges.”

Rocky Mountain Gun Owners is a 501(c)(4) organization headquartered in Loveland, Colorado, with a mission to hold politicians accountable and achieve maximum liberty for an individual to defend themselves, their family, and their property without having to ask the government for permission to do so. Since its founding, RMGO has led the fight against anti-gun politicians with the support of more than 200,000 members and grassroots activists statewide.

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FAIL: 9th Circuit upholds British law, claims no right to carry in public!

According to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, there is no Second Amendment right to carry a gun beyond your front door.

The anti-gun court ruled in March that open carry is not protected by the Second Amendment in Young v. Hawaii. Four dissenting judges ripped the ruling, accusing the Ninth Circuit of deciding that “the Second Amendment does not mean what it says.”

But the ruling, should it be allowed to stand, has consequences that go far beyond just open carry.

Combined with a similar 2016 ruling that the Second Amendment does not protect concealed carry either, 20% of Americans and four Constitutional Carry States are now subject to the jurisprudence of the nation’s largest and most overturned appellate court which will not protect the right to “bear” arms.

Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
On March 24, 2021, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled en banc in Young v. Hawaii that there is no Second Amendment Right to carry openly.

How on earth did a federal court reach such a stunningly inaccurate conclusion, and what does this mean for gun owners?

The answer is buried in a radical interpretation of British law, and how the court used a case out of Hawaii as a means to resurrect the concept of “king’s sovereignty” in 21st century America.

How the case got started

In 2012, Hawaii resident George Young sued both his county and the state of Hawaii after being denied a carry permit twice by his local chief of police.

Under Hawaii law, citizens must demonstrate urgency or need to carry a weapon and be engaged in protecting life and property just to apply for an open carry permit (concealed carry permit qualifications are similar). According to local regulations in Young’s county (as well as under statewide general practice), “engaged in protecting life and property” limits open carry to security guards and private detectives.

Assuming a citizen who is not in the security industry is somehow able to qualify to apply for an open carry permit, it is entirely at the discretion of the county chief of police whether he gets one or not.

Young sued, arguing that his Second Amendment rights had been violated. Federal district court dismissed his claims, saying that the state law doesn’t “implicate activity protected by the Second Amendment.”

Young appealed to the Ninth Circuit, and a three-judge panel initially ruled in his favor. The full Ninth Circuit, however, agreed to rehear en banc, and on March 24, 2021, reversed the panel decision and ruled that there is no Second Amendment right to carry openly.

“No right to carry arms openly in public”

Perhaps most shocking thing about the Ninth Circuit’s ruling is how they reached it.

They did NOT rely on the clear text of the Second Amendment which protects the right to “bear” arms.

Instead, the Ninth Circuit ruled as if the Bill of Rights were never ratified and we’re still subjects of the British Crown.

The en banc ruling dove deep back in time into English gun regulations dating back to 13th century under King Edward I (known as “the Hammer of the Scots” for his tyrannical attempts to conquer Scotland, including the killing of Scottish patriot leader William Wallace), as well as early American legal treatises, state laws, and court cases in an attempt to “prove” that a de facto ban on public carry is consistent with the Second Amendment.

Through a combination of careful selection of sources, logical leaps, and fact-twisting, the opinion (drafted by a Bush-appointed judge) concluded the following:

  • Landmark Second Amendment cases Heller and McDonald establish “only a narrow individual right” to keep a handgun at home.
    • Counterpoint: While Heller dealt specifically with a handgun ban in the home, it (and later McDonald) established that self-defense is an individual right to defend one’s person, and in no way did Heller imply that you only have that right while you’re at home.

  • There has never been a historical assumption that individuals have an “unfettered right” to carry weapons in public – and in fact, the government has every right to regulate and even ban public carry.
    • Counterpoint: The text of the Second Amendment itself stands as evidence that an “unfettered right” to public carry is exactly what the founders intended.

  • There is a difference between the right to carry in public, and the right to defend your home or workplace. The home is sacred, but defending the public square is different.
    • Counterpoint: The Second Amendment is an individual right, not a corporate (read: militia) right only, and it protects your right to defend yourself and your loved ones wherever the need may arise.

  • It is government’s duty to protect citizens in public. “The king who cannot guarantee the security of his subjects—from threats internal or external—will not likely remain sovereign for long.” (Editor’s note: he didn’t.)

Let’s look at that last statement more closely.

The court pointed out that under English law (not the U.S. Constitution), carrying weapons in public was an affront to the King – the equivalent of a vote of no confidence in his ability and willingness to protect his subjects.

As if that were a bad or factually inaccurate statement, they essentially argued that you don’t have the right to public carry, because the government or “king” has the primary right to defend you in the public square, and how dare you question their ability to do so?

This argument was eviscerated by the dissent, which pointed out that the entire point of the Revolution and subsequent U.S. Constitution was to completely break ties with the idea of “king’s sovereignty,” replacing it with “We the People”:

“For an English subject to ‘carr[y] arms publicly . . . as a vote of no confidence in the king’s ability to maintain [the public peace]’ would be an affront to his sovereign. But for an American citizen to carry arms publicly could be no such thing. The American citizen, in contrast with the English subject, is a constituent part of a free and sovereign people, whom state governments serve as agents.

“Indeed, the ‘principal object’ of our Constitution was not to grant ‘new rights’ from government to the people, but rather to ‘secur[e]’ against the government ‘those rights’ we already possess by nature.

“It is thus emphatically the prerogative of the American citizen to give a ‘vote of no confidence’ in state governments’ exercise of those powers delegated from the sovereign people themselves.”

Moreover, the government regularly fails to protect the public square. Poor police response times combined with “gun free” zones have only left citizens vulnerable to attack in public.

The dissenting judges made short work of the poor historical analysis of the majority opinion:

“The Second Amendment’s text, history, and structure, and the Supreme Court’s reasoning in Heller, all point squarely to the same conclusion: Armed self-defense in public is at the very core of the Second Amendment right…the Second Amendment safeguards both the right to keep a firearm and the right to bear—or to carry—that firearm…The right to armed self-defense—both by keeping a gun at home and by carrying one elsewhere—lies at the heart of the Second Amendment.”

To sum up: The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals sided with King George over our own Constitution!

What does this mean for gun owners?

Until overturned by the Supreme Court, this ruling, together with the court’s 2016 decision, means that in the nine states in the Ninth Circuit, there is no judicial protection for the right to carry in public, whether concealed or open.

In other words, gun owners who live in Washington, Montana, Oregon, Idaho, California, Nevada, Arizona, Alaska, and Hawaii are at the mercy of their states’ gun grabbers.

Lawyers for Mr. Young have already indicated they intend to appeal this ruling to the Supreme Court. When they do, the National Foundation for Gun Rights stands ready to push for the overturning of this decision and the protection of the Second Amendment right to bear arms as well as to keep them.

To help us fight for the Second Amendment in the courts, click here!

US Supreme Court

National Foundation for Gun Rights files joint Supreme Court brief in landmark free speech case

National Foundation for Gun Rights amicus brief Supreme Court AFPF v. Becerra

One of the Left’s favorite ways to attack the Second Amendment is by going after the First Amendment.

Especially the First Amendment rights (and privacy rights) of citizen lobbying organizations.

The First Amendment is what protects our ability to effectively fight for our Second Amendment rights without exposing gun owners and citizen-lobbyists to harassment from “cancel culture” bullies, anti-gun employers, neighbors, activist politicians, and bureaucrats.

This is why the National Foundation for Gun Rights recently joined a coalition of freedom-loving organizations in filing an amicus “friend of the court” brief in a landmark free speech case currently before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Oral arguments will be heard Monday, April 26.

Click here to read NFGR’s amicus brief >>

This case, AFPF v. Becerra, began when Vice President Kamala Harris – then Attorney General of California – began demanding the names and addresses of top donors from nonprofits who were fundraising in California, including sister organization the National Association for Gun Rights.

Why?

The California Attorney General’s office claims they need confidential donor information to help them “police charitable fraud” – which is bureaucrat-speak for “just because.”

“This case involves a real threat by the California government to coerce the disclosure of the identity of large donors, putting them at risk of retaliation from either the public or partisan office holders. Both mob and ruler are dangerous to dissenters, and the principle of anonymity protects Americans from both.”

Coalition amicus brief in AFPF v. Becerra

As previously noted, this is a common tactic used by Leftist government officials to crack down on Second Amendment activism and lobbying. Disclosing gun owners’ personal information and donor history would open them up to public backlash, crackdowns, and harassment from government regulators.

AFPF v. Becerra seeks to overturn the California Attorney General’s regulatory demands for confidential donor information. When the case was first appealed to the Supreme Court in 2019, NFGR joined NAGR and a number of freedom-minded allies in an amicus brief urging the Supreme Court to take the case.

The Supreme Court agreed to hear the case on January 8, 2021.

NFGR’s joint amicus brief was filed on March 1, arguing that privacy and anonymity are key elements of our First Amendment freedoms of speech and association.

Below are some key excerpts:

  • “This case involves a real threat by the California government to coerce the disclosure of the identity of large donors, putting them at risk of retaliation from either the public or partisan office holders. Both mob and ruler are dangerous to dissenters, and the principle of anonymity protects Americans from both.”

  • “The California Attorney General would prefer this Court to operate based on some form of judicial presumption that governmental powers are never abused, that Attorneys General engage in nothing but evenhanded administration of the law, that politicians elected or appointed to high office cease to act as politicians, and that state office holders would never use their position to advance their own political agendas, reward their friends, or punish their enemies. Yet, adopting such an assumption would require this Court to disregard both history and current reality.”

  • “The Framers enumerated these five First Amendment rights to protect Americans in the exercise of certain rights that the signers of the Declaration of Independence declared to be unalienable because they were bestowed upon man by the Creator.”

  • “The American principle of anonymity, restricting what government officials can force us to reveal about our activities to them or to others, is constitutionally grounded in First amendment freedoms of press and association.”

  • “[The] principles of anonymity are not second-order concerns that can be disregarded or suppressed, but instead are standards indispensable to both the protection of individual liberty and the preservation of our republic.”

The Supreme Court has not yet set a date for oral argument, but our legal team will provide updates as the case moves.

Click here to make a TAX-DEDUCTIBLE contribution to help the National Foundation for Gun Rights challenge attacks on gun owners and the Second Amendment in the courts!

GUN RIGHTS WATCH: Supreme Court agrees to decide warrantless entry case

Can the police enter your home without a warrant to take your guns?

That’s the question the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to decide in Caniglia v. Strom.

The court decision to review a landmark Fourth Amendment case involving illegal gun seizure is a remarkable about-face from the previous summer, when the justices dismissed ten key gun rights cases.

Caniglia v. Strom arose from a non-violent disagreement between a husband and wife (the Caniglias). Mrs. Caniglia told the police her husband might be suicidal, and the officers promised Mr. Caniglia that they would not take his two handguns if he agreed to go to the hospital for an evaluation.

Mr. Caniglia agreed to go, and was evaluated and discharged the same day.

After he left for the hospital, the police entered their home – despite the lack of a warrant – and seized two handguns.

This is a clear violation of the Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable searches and seizures.

As the guns were seized without a legal process, there was no real process for recovering them.

Both Mr. Caniglia and Mrs. Caniglia attempted to get the guns back over the next month, and the police simply refused to return them until the couple filed this lawsuit.

The officers claim they acted under the “community caretaking” exception to the due process requirements for searches. This exception to the warrant requirement was created by the Supreme Court in Cady v. Dombrowski:

“[P]olice officers…frequently investigate vehicle accidents in which there is no claim of criminal liability and engage in what, for want of a better term, may be described as community caretaking functions, totally divorced from the detection, investigation, or acquisition of evidence relating to the violation of a criminal statute.”

As long as it’s not “unreasonable,” the argument went, entering a vehicle for “community caretaking” purposes without a warrant was not a violation of the Fourth Amendment.

However, this only applied to vehicles, and the lower courts are divided on whether or not the exception should be applied to homes as well.

Now, the Supreme Court will weigh in on the question. Oral arguments have been scheduled for March 24, 2021.

Our legal team is watching this case closely, as well as other gun-related cases currently pending before the Supreme Court, and will provide updates.

Click here to make a TAX-DEDUCTIBLE contribution to help the National Foundation for Gun Rights challenge anti-Second Amendment laws and rulings in the courts!

Rocky Mountain Gun Owners demands Pitkin County reverse gun ban

RMGO Demands Pitkin County Reverse Unlawful Gun Ban

The National Foundation for Gun Rights is partnering with sister organization Rocky Mountain Gun Owners (RMGO) in a cease-and-desist letter sent yesterday to the Pitkin County Attorney and Commissioners, demanding that they reverse the unlawful gun ban instituted Wednesday, October 28, 2020.

More from RMGO:

“‘The law is extremely clear when it comes to banning firearms; local governments can’t do it,’ Said Taylor Rhodes, Executive Director of Rocky Mountain Gun Owners.

“‘It is a real shame the elected commissioners of Pitkin County have decided to go against their oath and enact this unlawful gun ban,’ said Rhodes. ‘I can assure you RMGO won’t back down from this fight, especially considering it is so apparent they are in the wrong.’ …

“RMGO’s letter to Pitkin County cited C.R.S. § 18-12-214, which says that a local government does not have the authority to adopt or enforce an ordinance or resolution that would ban firearms from government property without following specific criteria. As of today, Pitkin County does not meet those standards.”

Click here to read the full press release »

National Foundation of Gun Rights helps Florida gun owner

Florida gun owner cleared to purchase gun!

Earlier this year, James Bennetts contacted the National Foundation for Gun Rights for help with a blocked gun purchase.

On August 10, 2020, Jim Bennetts attempted to purchase a gun in Florida, his state of residence, only to have the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FLDE) hold up his background check.

Jim contacted FLDE, only to be informed they were waiting for arrest records from a previous misdemeanor – one that should not disqualify him from purchasing a gun.

Adding insult to injury is the fact that Florida law enforcement should only have been looking at how the case was actually decided. The police records aren’t a conviction and shouldn’t impact whether he’s allowed to purchase a gun.

NFGR hired a lawyer to send a letter to FLDE demanding they release his background check.

In a matter of days, Jim received word from FLDE and his gun dealer that he was cleared to purchase his gun!

National Foundation of Gun Rights helps Florida gun owner
James Bennetts with his new Taurus G2C!

Here’s what Jim had to say:

“Thank you so very much. I’m so glad that there are organizations like NFGR who are willing to help defend the rights of people like me. It gave me peace of mind to know someone was on my side to help fight the nameless faceless bureaucracy.”

We were able to hire representation for Jim thanks to the generous contributions of gun owners all over the country to our Gun Owners’ Defense Fund.

Click here to make a tax-deductible contribution to our Gun Owners Defense Fund so we can help more gun owners like Jim!

National Foundation for Gun Rights Assisting Family with Legal Actions in Toy Gun Case

Loveland, COThe National Foundation for Gun Rights announced today it is assisting the family of twelve-year-old Isaiah Elliott in legal action against school authorities who targeted him for handling a toy gun during a remote school session.

On August 27th, Isaiah Elliott briefly moved a neon green-and-black toy handgun with an orange tip during an online class. Isaiah was reported for the apparent infraction, and then suspended from his school for five days. The school vice principal called school resource officers from the sheriff’s office to conduct a welfare check, but Isaiah’s parents were not notified that the police were being called until they were on their way.

When they arrived, the deputies told the twelve-year-old that his behavior could have resulted in criminal charges, and may in the future if repeated.

“School officials inflicting a five-day suspension on a small boy for having a toy gun in his own home is disgusting, said Dudley Brown, President of the National Foundation for Gun Rights. “Instead of apologizing to the parents, the school took the outrageous step of sending law enforcement to further intimidate the child and parents.”

“It is our hope that a big win here will send the message to bureaucratic bullies everywhere to back off and stop harassing innocent children,” said Brown.

An eerily similar case in Colorado involves eleven-year-old Maddox Blow who finished an online school quiz early, and picked up an airsoft gun.

After his teacher spotted the incident while watching the recorded session afterward, the local police were dispatched to Maddox’s home for a welfare check. School officials suspended Maddox for four days.


The National Foundation for Gun Rights is currently exploring all legal options to come to the assistance of these families and others like them.

Colorado schools targeting kids for handling toy guns during remote learning

Loveland, CO – The National Foundation for Gun Rights announced today that it is exploring legal options for assisting students and families being targeted by school officials and law enforcement for in-home activity observed during remote school sessions.


Two students in Jefferson and El Paso counties have been suspended by school officials for handling toy guns.


On August 27, twelve-year-old Isaiah Elliott briefly moved a neon green-and-black toy handgun with an orange tip. Isaiah was suspended for five days, and the school principal called the sheriff’s office to conduct a welfare check. Isaiah’s parents were not notified that the police were being notified until they were on their way.


When they arrived, the deputies told the twelve-year-old that his behavior could have resulted in criminal charges, and may in the future if repeated.

Similarly, earlier this week eleven-year-old Maddox Blow finished an online school quiz early, and mindlessly picked up an airsoft gun. After his teacher spotted the incident while watching the recorded session afterwards, the local police were dispatched to Maddox’s home for a welfare check. School officials suspended Maddox for four days.

“It is very disturbing to see the heavy hand of government targeting families’ constitutional rights through a Zoom camera,” said Hannah Hill, Policy Analyst for the National Foundation for Gun Rights. “These kids have done nothing wrong, yet they are being treated as criminals over toys in their own homes.


“Times are difficult enough for families without school officials and bureaucrats harassing kids and threatening them with criminal charges because they happened to pick up a toy while sitting in front of their computers. This knee-jerk overreaction by school officials only serves to further the radical anti-gun agenda by demonizing the Second Amendment in the eyes of our nation’s youth.”


The National Foundation for Gun Rights is currently exploring all legal options to come to the assistance of these families and others like them.