Attorneys at Selendy Gay authored an amicus brief in support of Anne Arundel County’s gun safety ordinance in Maryland Shall Issue, Inc. v. Anne Arundel County, Maryland. On January 23, 2024, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit issued a decision in the case allowing Anne Arundel County to require gun dealers to distribute a safety information pamphlet to gun purchasers at the point of sale.
Anne Arundel County’s ordinance had been opposed by gun-rights organizations on free speech grounds. In consultation with Everytown for Gun Safety, a nonprofit organization focused on awareness and educational work related to gun violence prevention, Selendy Gay prepared an amicus brief in support of Anne Arundel County’s ordinance on behalf of families who lost loved ones to firearm suicide, or in one case, an individual who is a firearm suicide survivor. Partner Andrew Dunlap, associates Liam Murphy and Emma Holland, and former partner Vivek Tata authored the brief.
The amicus brief shared the survivors’ personal narratives of losing loved ones to firearm suicide. The narratives strongly support the conclusion that firearm safety ordinances, like the one in Anne Arundel County, can prevent firearm suicide by providing vital information about the risks associated with gun ownership and suicide at the point of sale.
The Fourth Circuit held that the pamphlet was factual and uncontroversial speech “reasonably related” to the County’s interest in preventing suicide. In the decision issued on January 23, the Court states that the pamphlet “encourages generous responses to a serious public health issue, and gun dealers might well find it admirable to join the effort.”