Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Changes In NRA Lawsuits In Texas

In the lawsuit the NRA brought against the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, D'Cruz et al v. BATFE et al, James D'Cruz is being replaced as the lead plaintiff. According to the court filing, his parents have moved from Lubbock, TX to Titusville, FL and Mr. D'Cruz has chosen to move with them. He was given permission by the court to withdraw from the case as the lead plaintiff.

Plaintiff's attorneys were given permission to file a Second Amended Complaint. The amended complaint was filed on February 11th. Rebekah Jennings and Brennan Harmon will be joining Andrew Payne as the individual plaintiffs in the case.

Rebekah Jennings is a resident of Boerne, TX. She has been a member of the U.S. Olympic Development Team for pistol shooting and is a member of the Texas State Rifle Association's Junior National Team. Ms. Jennings not only shot for the TSRA Junior National Team, she was the high junior at Camp Perry this year in pistol shooting. Her score of 285x15 was not only good enough to win the Junior National Trophy Match but to shatter the old record. Ms. Jennings also made the President's 100 for pistol shooting. The picture below is of her accepting her trophy at Camp Perry.

Ms. Jennings paired with another Texas junior shooter, Zach Hedrick, to win the Junior National Trophy Team match. You can see the picture of them below accepting that trophy.

The other new plaintiff is Brennan Harmon of San Antonio, TX. While Ms. Harmon currently owns both a rifle and a shotgun, she would like to purchase a pistol for self-defense according to the amended complaint. Of course, she and Ms. Jennings are both precluded from purchasing pistols due to current Federal law and regulations.

In a move that will greatly disappoint Paul Helmke and Josh Horwitz, Facebook pages for both Ms. Jennings and Ms. Harmon feature no pictures except for a profile picture. I am guessing that the NRA attorneys "sanitized" their Facebook pages to prevent having them dragged through the mud like Helmke and Horwitz attempted to do to James D'Cruz. Still I would put nothing past either Helmke or Horwitz in pursuit of their goal of gun prohibition.

James D'Cruz is still listed as the lead plaintiff in D'Cruz et al v. McCraw et al. This case is the challenge to the age 21 requirement to obtain a Texas CHL. I would not be surprised to see this change as well with Mr. D'Cruz's move to Titusville, FL to live with his parents. If this does change, I will have an update.

H/T Sebastian

UPDATE: Ian asked a queston on whether the State of Texas issues non-resident concealed handgun licenses. They do but require the education component to be taught in Texas. As James D'Cruz has taken the education component while still residing in Texas, I don't think this will be an issue.

Is Texas the proper venue for a non-resident to sue? I don't know for sure but would guess it would be.

Below is the Texas requirements for a non-resident license as taken from their CHL Handbook.
GC §411.173. NONRESIDENT LICENSE. (a) The department by
rule shall establish a procedure for a person who meets the eligibility
requirements of this subchapter other than the residency requirement
established by Section 411.172(a)(1) to obtain a license under this
subchapter if the person is a legal resident of a state another state
or if the person relocates to this state with the intent to establish residency
in this state. The procedure must include payment of a fee in an
amount sufficient to recover the average cost to the department of
obtaining a criminal history record check and investigation on a
nonresident applicant. A license issued in accordance with the procedure
established under this subsection:
(1) remains in effect until the license expires under Section
411.183; and
(2) may be renewed under Section 411.185.
(a-1)*[repealed by Act effective September 1, 2005, 79th Leg., R.S., H.B. 225, §4.]
(b) The governor shall negotiate an agreement with any other state
that provides for the issuance of a license to carry a concealed
handgun under which a license issued by the other state is recognized
in this state or shall issue a proclamation that a license issued by the
other state is recognized in this state if the attorney general of the
State of Texas determines that a background check of each applicant
for a license issued by that state is initiated by state or local authorities
or an agent of the state or local authorities before the license is issued.
For purposes of this subsection, "background check" means a search
of the National Crime Information Center database and the Interstate
Identification Index maintained by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
(c) The attorney general of the State of Texas shall annually:
(1) submit a report to the governor, lieutenant governor, and
speaker of the house of representatives listing the states the attorney
general has determined qualify for recognition under Subsection (b);
(2) review the statutes of states that the attorney general has
determined do not qualify for recognition under Subsection (b) to
determine the changes to their statutes that are necessary to qualify
for recognition under that subsection.
(d) The attorney general of the State of Texas shall submit the report
required by Subsection (c)(1) not later than January 1 of each calendar


  1. As I asked at Sebastian's, does TX issue non-resident permits, and is the venue for the carry permit amenable to TX being sued by a non-resident?

  2. That's an interesting question.

    As a party plaintiff in another carry case, this is basically how jurisdiction works.

    The plaintiff has two choices to sue persons under the federal rules of civil procedure: Their home district, or the defendant's district. When I sue a state actor (like I am with Sheriff LaCabe of Denver County, CO), I have to sue either in the Western District of Washington or the District of Colorado. I chose the District of Colorado for judicial acumen reasons.

    D'Cruz moved out of Texas Northern District, which means his only choices for a suit is in Western District or Northern District of Florida. I expect that the D'Cruz 18 carry case case, unless they get another plaintiff, will be dismissed. Pity.

  3. Plaintiff's cross-motion filed:

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