BELLEVUE, WA – The Second Amendment Foundation and Firearms Policy Coalition today filed suit in federal district court in Georgia, in a case alleging Cherokee County and Probate Court Judge Keith Wood have violated the constitutional rights of citizens by ordering that the county would not accept applications for Weapons Carry Licenses during the coronavirus outbreak.
The case names Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, Georgia Department of Public Safety Commissioner Gary Vowell, Cherokee County, and Judge Wood, in their official capacities.
SAF and FPC filed the action in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, Atlanta Division, on behalf of one of their members, Lisa Walters. According to the 16-page federal complaint, Walters’ husband contacted the probate court several days ago to inquire about her ability to obtain a carry license. The county informed Walters’ husband that the order to not accept license applications will remain in effect.
The case is known as Walters v. Kemp. Plaintiffs are represented by attorney Adam Kraut of Sacramento, Calif., John R. Monroe of Dawsonville, Ga., and Raymond M. DiGuiseppe of Southport, N.C.
“This is the most recent in a series of legal actions we’ve had to file around the country,” noted SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb, “because we’ve discovered that some officials have arbitrarily decided the COVID-19 crisis allows them to suspend the Constitutional rights of the citizens they serve. We’ve been stunned by this pattern because such actions are not permitted by the Constitution. Authorities may not, by decree or otherwise, enact or enforce a suspension or deprivation of constitutional liberties.”
FPC President Brandon Combs concurred, stating, “The Constitution explicitly protects the fundamental human right to bear arms, especially for self-defense. Governments cannot eliminate the right of law-abiding adults to carry handguns for self-defense in public, which is all the more pertinent in these troubled times. As the Supreme Court has already explained, the Constitution’s guarantee of the right to bear arms is especially important for self-defense in case of confrontation, and individuals must be allowed to exercise their rights outside their home.”
“The natural right to armed self-defense does not cease to exist when a person steps over the threshold of their home and into the outside world,” observed Adam Kraut, FPC’s Director of Legal Strategy. “By their elimination of access to Georgia Weapons Carry Licenses, Judge Keith Wood and Cherokee County have destroyed the right to carry handguns outside the home for Lisa Walters and others like her. This is not acceptable and shows the inherent and terminally unconstitutional defects of the State’s license requirements.”