MINNEAPOLIS, MN -(Ammoland.com)- A Minnesota Federal District judge defies the Supreme Court’s Bruen decision by applying “means-end scrutiny” and “narrow tailoring” to a case involving banning firearms at the Minnesota State Fair.
The case involved Rev. Tim Christopher, Sara Cade Hauptman, and the Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus suing the State Agriculture Society after the group chose to ban firearms at the state fair. All the plaintiffs were “pro se.” Pro se means the plaintiffs represent themselves in court instead of hiring attorneys to litigate the lawsuit. Most pro-se lawsuits fail because the plaintiffs are unfamiliar with the intricacies of civil law. It is always advisable to seek outside counsel to increase your chance of a favorable outcome.
In this case, the plaintiffs believed that the state could not ban guns on state grounds because it violates their Second Amendment rights. Ms. Hauptman and Rev. Christopher purchased tickets to the State Fair but could not attend because the pair refused to do so without their firearms. Neither is banned from carrying firearms under state or federal law. The two teamed up with Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus to challenge the State Agriculture Society and recover damages for breach of contract.
Under Bruen, the Supreme Court’s landmark decision, Justice Clarence Thomas wrote that although some places could ban guns because they are “sensitive areas,” the mere fact that people gather in a location is not enough for the area to be considered “sensitive.” A “sensitive area” would be more like a school or government building, not a fairground. This ruling would seem to give the plaintiffs the advantage since the State Agriculture Society banned firearms because of the crowds, but the judge rule as if the Bruen Decision never happened.
U.S. District Judge John Tunheim either never heard of the Bruen decision, which seems unlikely because he is a federal judge, or chose to ignore the Supreme Court’s ruling.
The judge ruled that the State Agriculture Society did not violate the plaintiff’s Constitutional rights. He says the defendants have the right to ban guns because the fairgrounds are crowded.
A federal judge ignoring a Supreme Court decision is shocking. More shockingly, Judge Tunheim used the “means-end scrutiny” and “narrow tailoring” in his decision. Both are strictly prohibited from being used in Second Amendment cases. Multiple lawsuits have been remanded to lower courts to be reconsidered because “means-end scrutiny” and “narrow tailoring” are no longer allowed to be applied to Second Amendment cases.
Judge Tunheim was appointed by Bill Clinton and had a history of ruling against Second Amendment advocates leaving many to wonder if he was an “activist judge.” The Bruen decision is written in black and white language regarding “means-end scrutiny” and “narrow tailoring.” There is no gray area in the opinion of the high court.
AmmoLand News reached out to Judge Tunheim to ask if he had read of the Bruen decision, but our calls were not returned.
AmmoLand News reached out to the Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus to inquire if there were any plans to file for a motion of reconsideration in the case because the judge’s ruling contradicts Bruen, but our emails and calls were not returned.
About John Crump
John is a NRA instructor and a constitutional activist. John has written about firearms, interviewed people of all walks of life, and on the Constitution. John lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and sons and can be followed on Twitter at @crumpyss, or at www.crumpy.com.