The Washington Free Beacon sat down with the Second Amendment Foundation's Alan Gottlieb this week during SHOT Show, the firearms industry's annual trade show, to get his perspective on the significance of the Supreme Court agreeing to hear a new gun rights case and some of the litigation that his group is pushing.
Gottlieb first discussed the history of the foundation, saying that it used to focus on education but then got into the legal field regarding Second Amendment rights. He then said the outlook for gun rights would have been very different if Donald Trump had lost the 2016 presidential election.
"If Hillary Clinton would have gotten elected president, the Supreme Court would have had a totally different complexion than it does right now," he said. "There were a record number of vacancies on the appeals courts and federal court benches. They would have been stacked with anti-gun rights judges. We were looking at having to shut down our legal action program for a while because we couldn't risk setting bad precedents."
The Free Beacon then asked Gottlieb about the Supreme Court agreeing to hear a case on whether lawmakers can restrict the right to carry guns outside the home. The case centers on New York City regulations, which place strict limits on the ability of gun owners to transport guns.
"New York City has this crazy law," Gottlieb said. "It made the transport of legally owned guns outside of the city impossible, placing a heavy burden on New Yorkers who want to use their gun anywhere else."
"The Supreme Court is back in the business of hearing gun cases," Gottlieb added. "This is really important. It signals to judges on the lower courts now [that] you have to pay more attention to the Second Amendment and respect it more."
The Free Beacon pointed out that justices such as Clarence Thomas and Neil Gorsuch have written dissents calling on the high court to take firearms cases.
"It shows why Donald Trump's election was very important for gun rights," Gottlieb said. "Now we have a court that's tipping more in favor of looking at gun rights."
Gottlieb also spoke about a law in Missouri that denies the right of foster parents to keep functional, loaded firearms in their home. The Second Amendment Foundation is fighting the prohibition in a court case representing foster parents.
"You shouldn't have to lose your Second Amendment rights just because you want to help a child and raise it as a foster parent," Gottlieb said. "It doesn't make any sense at all."