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News & Editorials

Defense Fund $$ Needed for Emerson Appeal!!!

From Dave LaCourse
SAF Legal Affairs Director

November 6, 2001

Dear Second Amendment activist,

This is an urgent plea on behalf of the Second Amendment, Dr. Emerson and all the gun owners in America.

The Fifth Circuit Emerson decision will be appealed. While the court clearly and articulately held that the Second Amendment is an individual right, Dr. Emerson is still facing federal felony charges because of an anti-gun rights prosecutor.

But to conduct a proper defense, Dr. Emerson's attorneys need funds immediately. The Second Amendment Foundation is sending a check tomorrow for his defense, but it is not for the full amount requested by his attorneys.

Attorneys David Guinn and Aaron Clements are great and care about the Second Amendment and Dr. Emerson. They aren't trying to get rich, but they are declining other clients in order to take this case and need adequate funding to get the job done right.

This case is literally the most important Second Amendment case in over a half century. And if we lose this appeal, then the gun grabbers will unleash the mother-of-all gun control proposals. Without the fear of the Second Amendment, their real agenda will be revealed once again -- gun bans!

Please help us today, as the appeal must be filed by November 13, 2001 and funding for the appeal must begin right now.

The SAF Emerson Defense Fund is tax-deductible, and your contributions will help your right to firearms ownership today, tomorrow and forever.

Please give $1000, $500 or $100, $50, $25 or whatever you can afford to this crucial effort. This case is too important to lose for lack of funding.

I repeat, the entire Emerson decision upholding the Second Amendment as an individual right is at risk in this appeal, which is why this defense fund wasn't announced sooner. Whether we win or lose could rest on how much people contribute to this worthy cause.

Please contribute on-line today via our secure server here:

Or, please call 425-454-7012 to make a donation over the phone during Pacific Time Business Hours with your credit card, or send your check of money order made out to SAF Emerson Defense to the following address:

SAF Emerson Defense
12500 NE 10th Place
Bellevue, WA 98005

Or, you can fax a credit card donation to 425-451-3959.

Please give today, as the rights you save may be your own.


Dave LaCourse
SAF Legal Affairs Director

P.S. Please give today, as we must make sure that Dr. Emerson's attorneys have the support they need. Please review the press release below for more details. Thanks for your time.


For Immediate Release: Contact: Alan Gottlieb (425) 454-7012
November 6, 2001

BELLEVUE, WA - The Second Amendment Foundation has launched a defense fund to assist Dr. Timothy Joe Emerson in these continuing appeals. The move is to help preserve the stunning 5th Circuit Court of Appeals decision upholding the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution as an individual right.

"The Emerson decision was a huge victory for all law-abiding gun owners as we finally established in a very thorough and well-researched opinion that the Second Amendment is an individual right," stated Alan Gottlieb, Founder of the Second Amendment Foundation. "Now we must fight to preserve this win in appeals and hopefully even build on the decision to make it even stronger."

Because the court's decision in U.S. v Emerson was to reverse and remand a lower court ruling that cleared Dr. Timothy Joe Emerson of a federal violation of the 1994 Domestic Violence Act, Dr. Emerson's attorneys David Guinn and Aaron Clements will be appealing the portion of the decision which would force Dr. Emerson to endure a trial for a boilerplate civil divorce court restraining order that ended with the finalization of the divorce.

"Continuing to prosecute Dr. Emerson for a long-since expired order is unfair and just plain wrong since Dr. Emerson has been cleared of all domestic violence related charges in state court by a jury of 9 women and 3 men in less than an hour of deliberations," reminded Gottlieb. "Until the government agrees to drop the simple possession of a firearm while subject to a civil divorce court order, both Dr. Emerson and the Second Amendment remain at risk."

"I call on all the other national, state and local gun owner civil rights groups to join with the Second Amendment Foundation in funding this all-important legal battle," added Gottlieb. "SAF has mailed a check for $5,000 and is working to raise additional funds for this appeal."

In the Emerson appeal decision, the 5th Circuit clearly ruled that the Second Amendment guarantees the right of an individual citizen to keep and bear private arms, "regardless of whether the particular individual is then actually a member of the militia."

Writing for the majority, Judge William Garwood noted that the government's long-standing interpretation of the 1939 Miller case, that the Second Amendment merely expresses a "collective right" is not supported by the actual Miller decision.

"The wisdom of this decision must be preserved," said Gottlieb. "As a leader in firearm owner civil rights defense, the Second Amendment Foundation is very proud to be working closely with Dr. Emerson's attorneys to protect the Second Amendment and hopefully end this nightmare for Dr. Emerson once and for all."

The Second Amendment Foundation is the nation's oldest and largest tax-exempt education, research and legal action group focusing on the Constitutional right and heritage to privately own and possess firearms. SAF previously has funded successful firearms-related suits against the cities of Los Angeles, New Haven, CT, and San Francisco on behalf of American gun owners. Current projects include a damage action lawsuit against the cities suing gun makers, an amicus brief in support of the Emerson case holding that the Second Amendment is an individual right, a lawsuit against the Clinton gun and magazine ban and a lawsuit in Cincinnati supporting the right of self-defense carry of firearms. Please visit the best Emerson webpage at

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