Victory for Second Amendment as Army Corps of Engineers Declines to Pursue Appeal

Denver, CO – Dec. 17, 2019 – Mountain States Legal Foundation declared victory today in Nesbitt v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineer’s decision not to reinstate an appeal of the ruling against its firearms ban is an unequivocal win for the Second Amendment and U.S. citizens. 

“The government’s decision not to reinstate its Ninth Circuit appeal is a victory for Second Amendment supporters everywhere,” said Cody Wisniewski, MSLF’s lead attorney on the case. “This means the Corps of Engineers remains prohibited from enforcing its unconstitutional ordinance against our clients or anyone in the State of Idaho. MSLF will remain vigilant to ensure other Americans are not subject to the Corps’ unconstitutional regulation.” 

The Corps of Engineers unconstitutionally bans the possession of a functional firearm in a tent, even when camping overnight, and prohibits people from carrying a functional firearm in any manner — openly, concealed, or in a vehicle. 

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers oversees vast areas of recreational lands that are open to the public. 

MSLF’s clients Mrs. Elizabeth Nesbitt and Mr. Alan Baker challenged the unconstitutional firearm ban beginning in 2013, since they risked criminal prosecution by exercising their Second Amendment protected rights. Both plaintiffs were concealed carry permit holders who regularly used Corps of Engineers-managed lands in Idaho and carried handguns for self-defense. 

In 2014, the U.S. District Court of Idaho found in favor of Mrs. Nesbitt and Mr. Baker. At that time, Judge B. Lynn Winmill ruled that Army Corps’ firearms ban violated the Second Amendment and was, therefore, unconstitutional. His order also blocks the Corps of Engineers from enforcing its ban in Idaho.  

The Corps of Engineers began an appeal process in 2014, but on the eve of oral argument before the Ninth Circuit in 2017, filed an emergency motion stating an intention to “reconsider” the policy. That year, Mrs. Nesbitt and Mr. Baker were granted 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.

MEDIA CONTACTS: For interviews with a Mountain States Legal Foundation attorney please contact Nathan Harden,, or Julia A. Seymour,, or call them at 303-292-2021.   

Mountain States Legal Foundation is a nonprofit, public-interest legal foundation dedicated to individual liberty, the right to own and use property, limited and ethical government, and the free enterprise system. Its offices are located outside Denver, Colorado. 

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Nesbitt v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

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