Peterson v. Martinez | Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence

Peterson v. Martinez

Gray Peterson, a resident of Washington state, filed a federal suit against Denver city officials and the Attorney General of Colorado on January 12, 2010, alleging that the denial of his application for a concealed carry permit on the grounds that he wasn’t a Colorado resident violated his constitutional rights. Specifically, Peterson asserted that the resident requirement violated the Second Amendment, the Fourteenth Amendment, and the Privileges and Immunities Clause.

The U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado granted the state’s motion for summary judgment on March 8, 2011, dismissing the case. Backed by the NRA and other gun lobby groups, Peterson appealed the ruling to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, where the Brady Center filed an amicus brief in support of the state law, arguing that the Second Amendment does not include a right to carry a gun outside the home, and does not prevent states and communities from regulating public gun carrying. After receiving the brief, the court invited Legal Action Project Director Jonathan Lowy to participate in oral arguments in the case, along with attorneys for the NRA, Alan Gura of the Second Amendment Foundation, and the parties. On February 22, 2013, the Court accepted the Brady Center’s arguments and affirmed the ruling of the District Court, ending the lawsuit. Attorneys with the firm Hogan Lovells prepared the Brady Center’s brief.

In addition to the Peterson case, the Legal Action Project has participated in numerous challenges to strong concealed carry permitting laws in states including New York, New Jersey, and Maryland, each of which has been rejected by federal and state courts.