Hogan Lovells files amicus brief on behalf of March For Our Lives in major Second Amendment case before the Supreme Court

Washington, D.C., 21 September, 2021 — Global law firm Hogan Lovells today filed an amicus brief in the Supreme Court on behalf of March For Our Lives, a national youth-led movement to end gun violence in the U.S. The brief opposes 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 carry 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 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 laws.

“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.”

“The prevention of gun violence is an issue of critical importance to young people,” said Ira Feinberg, a senior counsel at Hogan Lovells and counsel of record for the amicus brief. “Through the personal accounts 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.”

Our 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, Md.
  • Victoria Gwynn, who lost her brother to a drive-by shooting and, months later, lost her best friend after being shot herself in Louisville, Ky.
  • Selene San Felice, who survived the Capital Gazette shooting in Annapolis, Md., 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, Colo., that killed ten people
  • Brandon Wolf, who survived and lost two close friends in the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, Fla., that killed 49 people
  • Sen. Dayna Polehanki, who was serving in the Michigan State Legislature when armed protestors stormed the State Capitol

“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.”

The Hogan Lovells team includes senior counsel Ira Feinberg, senior associates Andrew Bank, Evan Guimond and Will Havemann, and associate Rachel Bayer.

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March For Our Lives is a national youth-led movement to end gun violence in America. Its mission is to harness the power of young people across the country to fight for sensible gun violence prevention policies that save lives. Since March 2018, students from all across the United States have called for common-sense reforms that will save the lives of more than 3,000 young people each year, including: implementing universal, comprehensive background checks; creating a searchable database for gun owners; investing in violence intervention programs, specifically in disenfranchised communities; funding the Centers for Disease Control to research gun violence so that reform policies are backed up by data; and banning high-capacity magazines and semi-automatic assault rifles. Concurrently, March For Our Lives has established nearly 300 youth-led chapters across the country, continuously growing this chapter network to give young people a local forum to exercise their activism. For more information, visit www.marchforourlives.com.

Global law firm Hogan Lovells has a long tradition of supporting ground-breaking social developments, focusing on access to justice and the rule of law. As lawyers we recognize this commitment is part of our professional practice and collectively we spend 150,000+ pro bono hours per year on work to achieve lasting impact for others.


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