2nd Amendment Victory! Army Corps of Engineers Forgoes Firearms Ban Appeal

Today a Second Amendment victory was secured for citizens who enjoy recreation on Army Corps of Engineers-managed lands in Idaho. The federal agency chose not to reinstate its earlier appeal of a ruling which blocks enforcement of its firearms ban in that state.  

It is an unequivocal win for the Second Amendment and U.S. citizens.  

“The government’s decision not to reopen its Ninth Circuit appeal is a victory for Second Amendment supporters everywhere,” said Cody Wisniewski, MSLF’s lead attorney on the case.  

Hells Canyon National Recreation Area

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers oversees vast areas of recreational lands that are open to the public. Despite wide, public usage of the lands they manage, the Corps of Engineers unconstitutionally bans possession of functional firearms in tents (even when camping overnight) and prohibits people from having them in any manner: openly, concealed, or in a vehicle.  

Mountain States Legal Foundation successfully sued the Corps of Engineers over those firearms restrictions on behalf of clients Elizabeth Nesbitt and Alan Baker. Both are concealed carry permit holders who carry handguns for self-defense. In 2014, the U.S. District Court of Idaho Judge B. Lynn Winmill ruled in favor of Mrs. Nesbitt and Mr. Baker saying the prohibition violated the Second Amendment and was unconstitutional. 

His order also permanently blocks the Corps from enforcing the ban in Idaho. Although, the Corps of Engineers began an appeal process in 2014, it filed an emergency motion in 2017 stating an intention to “reconsider” the policy. That year, the agency also gave Mrs. Nesbitt and Mr. Baker written permission to carry loaded firearms on Corps of Engineers-managed lands in several Western states. 

The agency’s decision this week not to reinstate its appeal against Judge Winmill’s order solidifies this victory for the Second Amendment. 

“MSLF will remain vigilant to ensure other Americans are not subject to the Corps’ unconstitutional regulation,” Wisniewski added. 

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Nesbitt v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

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