BELLEVUE, WA – The Second Amendment Foundation has filed a federal lawsuit against the Cortland, N.Y.  Housing Authority, alleging Second Amendment violations by prohibiting tenants from possessing firearms on CHA premises.

Joining SAF are three private citizens—all CHA residents—Doug Merrin, Elmer Irwin and Robert Hunter. They are represented by attorney Edward A. Paltzik at Bochner Law in New York City. Defendants are the housing authority and CHA Executive Director Ella M. Dilorio in her official capacity.

The complaint was filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York.

“The Supreme Court made clear in Heller, the home is where the need for defense of self, family, and property is most acute,” SAF Executive Director Adam Kraut observed. “We’ve been involved in similar cases and prevailed because a ban on the possession of firearms in public housing is a flagrant violation of Second Amendment rights. The public housing authority’s refusal to alter their lease agreement to comport with the requirements of the Constitution demonstrates their disdain for low-income, elderly residents being able to exercise their rights. SAF looks forward to vindicating their rights and forcing the housing authority to respect the Constitution.

“This case is nearly identical to one we handled a few years ago in Illinois,” recalled SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “We obtained a permanent injunction against the East St. Louis Housing Authority for the same violation.”

SAF is seeking a temporary restraining order followed by a preliminary and permanent injunction, and a judgment by the court that this firearms ban is unconstitutional under the Second and Fourteenth amendments. The lawsuit is also seeking compensatory and/or punitive damages.

“The prohibition on firearms on CHA property is unconstitutional on its face,” Kraut said. “We will pursue such cases when they come to our attention.”