Everytown for Gun Safety is terrified of Amy Coney Barrett. But if you ask the gun community, there may be no better recommendation for President Trump’s pick to replace Justice Ruth Bader-Ginsburg on the Supreme Court.
Everytown and Moms Demand Action released a statement this week claiming that Barrett’s nomination will “put gun safety laws at serious risk.”
“Amy Coney Barrett’s alarming interpretation of the Second Amendment would make her an ideal Supreme Court Justice for the NRA, but a terrible one for the safety of the American people,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action. “Giving her a lifetime appointment on the Supreme Court will make us all less safe.”
Everytown argues that, if Barrett is confirmed, universal background check laws, concealed carry laws, and “assault weapon” bans will all be in danger of being overturned.
In addition, Barrett’s presence on the Supreme Court could force lower courts to use the standard of review outlined in the landmark pro-gun decision, D.C. v. Heller, which would “put almost every gun law at risk,” according to Everytown.
Barrett doesn’t have a lengthy record on Second Amendment issues, but her existing opinions look promising.
In her most high-profile case, she wrote a dissenting opinion arguing that a non-violent convicted felon should have his gun rights restored. To make her case, Barrett relied on founding-era documents and legal precedent to prove that the framers of the Constitution would not have wanted a non-violent felon from having his gun rights permanently revoked.
In this, Barrett’s approach to the law resembles the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who also relied on founding-era history in his Heller decision. Barrett was a clerk for Scalia after she graduated from law school and said at the White House on Saturday, “His judicial philosophy is mine too.”
Gun rights groups have been quick to praise Trump for his selection.
Erich Pratt, Senior Vice President for Gun Owners of America, said that Barrett “appears to be a strong choice.”
“She has indicated a willingness to examine and apply the Second Amendment as written, by looking at its text and using history as a guide, instead of engaging in the judge-empowering interest balancing that has run rampant in the lower courts,” Pratt said in a statement. “Gun owners will relish seeing a new addition to the Supreme Court who is ready to hold lower courts accountable for failing to uphold the Constitution and for refusing to follow the Heller and McDonald precedents.”
The National Rifle Association also praised Barrett for her “steadfast commitment to the fundamental rights enshrined in our Constitution.” They “fully support” Trump’s choice and urge the Senate to “act quickly” to confirm her.
Right now, Republicans in the Senate have tentatively planned to vote on Barrett’s confirmation at the end of October. They appear to have the votes necessary to move the confirmation to its conclusion.