The brief shares the stories of eight young people touched by gun violence, warning that the lawsuit threatens nearly every single law in the country that protects Americans from being shot by a gun.
New York, NY — Today, March For Our Lives filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court to oppose a lawsuit seeking to undermine gun safety legislation in New York, with major ramifications for gun safety across the country. The lawsuit before the Supreme Court, New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. Bruen, challenges New York State’s concealed carry licensing law and could determine whether people can ca
rry guns in public without any restrictions. More broadly, the Court is poised to decide whether a whole range of gun safety regulations are constitutional at all. This is the most significant Second Amendment case before the court since its radical expansion of gun rights in its 2008 Heller decision.
The brief, which can be viewed here, filed by Hogan Lovells on behalf of March For Our Lives, urges the Court to think of the lives of countless young Americans in deciding the case and adhere to their current jurisprudence that creates space for state and local authorities to respond to the crisis of gun violence with sensible gun safety legislation. Failure to do so ties both hands behind our back in the nation’s bid to end the deadly epidemic of gun violence. It would clip the wings of any meaningful solutions to gun violence, even ones that are currently actively saving lives, and tens of thousands of Americans will continue to die entirely preventable deaths. We won’t accept that.
“It isn’t an exaggeration to say that this lawsuit threatens nearly every single law in the country that protects Americans from being shot by a gun,” said Alexis Confer, Executive Director of March For Our Lives. “For all the folks who are already disproportionately impacted by gun violence, this is an attack. It is an existential threat. It isn’t a secret that young people and children already bear the weight of this epidemic. NYSRPA v. Bruen threatens some of the most potent tools we have to address this public health crisis.”
Our unique filing highlights the voices of eight individuals from across the country whose lives have been forever touched by gun violence or the threat of it. It seeks to make clear that the court’s decision doesn’t live in a vacuum, nor is it just a philosophical debate. It has real consequences for tens of millions of young people. An entire generation hangs in the balance
The brief shares the stories of:
Samantha Mayor, who was shot in the knee in the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that killed 17 people
Elimar Depaula, who was left paralyzed after another driver shot her in a fit of road rage in Germantown, Maryland
Victoria Gwynn, who lost her brother to a drive-by shooting and, months later, lost her best friend after being shot herself in Louisville, Kentucky
Selene San Felice, who survived the Capital Gazette shooting in Annapolis, Maryland, that killed five people
DeAndra Dycus, whose 13-year son became a non-verbal quadriplegic after being shot at a birthday party
Maggie Montoya, who survived a shooting in a local grocery store in Boulder, Colorado, that killed ten people
Brandon Wolf, who survived and lost two close friends in the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida, that killed 49 people
Sen. Dayna Polehanki, who was serving in the Michigan State Legislature when armed protestors stormed the State Capitol
For the people whose stories we’ve highlighted, and for millions of young Americans who are counting on adults to keep us safe from harm, this is an existential threat. It is a threat to our most basic, most fundamental rights and freedoms. Our right to speak, work, and simply live is at risk.
“However the Court decides, I’m going to live with the impact of this decision for the rest of my life,” said Tabitha Escalante, a junior at Harvard University and part of the March For Our Lives team that filed the amicus brief. “Young people and children will grow up in its shadow, just like I’ve grown up in the shadow of lockdowns and mass shootings in schools, houses of worship, concerts, wherever life happens. I can’t let that happen. We can’t let that happen.”
“This isn’t a thought experiment. This is real life, with real-life consequences,” Elimar Depaula, 21, who’s story was mentioned in the brief. “My story, all of our stories in this brief, are echoed in countless other people’s lives forever changed by gun violence. I hope that our stories remind the court that they have in their hands a choice to protect countless lives, or threaten an entire new generation of kids with the threat of deadly guns.”
“The prevention of gun violence is an issue of critical importance to young people,” said Ira Feinberg, senior counsel at Hogan Lovells and counsel of record for the amicus brief. “Through the personal stories of those who have experienced the impact of gun violence in America themselves, this brief urges the court to respect the democratic process and give state and local leaders the latitude they need to protect their communities.”
After every horrifying act of violence, whether it’s captured by the front pages or whether it just ravages a single family, Americans ask ourselves; when will it end? The Supreme Court in this case could very well say: not in your lifetime. We hope they will rule in our favor.