The youth-led Judicial Advocacy Team guides MFOL’s legal strategy. We fight for our constitutional right not to be shot in all spaces, from spreading accessible information on social media to promote constitutional literacy in young people to filing revolutionary amicus briefs that center the stories of young lives impacted by gun violence. Our work breaks down barriers to entry and democratizes the legal sphere. We show the world that judicial spaces shouldn’t be for lawyers alone but a place for young people to advocate for change. 

Our Amicus Curiae Briefs

Our youth-led judicial advocacy team files briefs in different cases across the United States. Amicus briefs are filed by people who typically take the position of one side in a case, in the process supporting a cause that has some bearing on the issues in the case.

You can read the briefs we’ve filed below.

U.S. v. Rahimi

In 2022, a man named Zackey Rahimi physically assaulted his partner and threatened her life with a gun, then fired his guns in public places on multiple occasions. A federal law, U.S.§922(g)(8), prohibits those subject to domestic violence restraining orders, as Rahimi was, from possessing firearms. Thus, Rahimi was convicted for breaking this law alongside other criminal charges relating to his behavior. 

Zackey Rahimi appealed his conviction to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, who then struck down his conviction and ruled that the federal law barring those subject to domestic violence restraining orders from possessing firearms was unconstitutional under the Second Amendment. The United States urged the Supreme Court to overturn this ruling, and March For Our Lives filed an amicus brief with the Court in support of the U.S., telling the stories of young people affected by domestic violence involving firearms and young survivors of mass shootings committed by domestic violence perpetrators. If a domestic violence abuser has access to a firearm, the risk of death for their partners goes up by five times. And over 60% of mass shooters are domestic violence perpetrators or have a history of domestic violence. Keeping firearms out of the hands of such dangerous abusers is crucial to protecting women, children, and the larger public from the threat of gun violence. It is undoubtedly in line with our nation’s vast constitutional history of preventing dangerous persons from possessing firearms. To find out more about the intimate connection between domestic violence and gun violence and to read the stories of the survivors who know this all too well, read our amicus brief in U.S. v. Rahimi below.

Koons v. Platkins

After the adverse decision in NYSRPA v. Bruen struck down “may-issue” concealed carry permitting regimes, New Jersey enacted a broad swath of new regulations intended to protect its citizens while respecting the Bruen ruling, including “sensitive places” restrictions to protect areas uniquely impacted by gun violence. Submitted to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, MFOL’s brief demonstrates the unique vulnerability to gun violence that young people have, defends New Jersey’s restrictions, and argues that these spaces play critical roles in our lives and must remain gun-free.

Bevis v. City of Naperville

Initially a challenge to Naperville’s local assault weapons ban, Bevis v. City of Naperville in the 7th Circuit expanded to concern the fate of the statewide Protect Illinois Communities Act. The act, passed in 2023 in response to the Highland Park shooting, regulates assault weapons and modifiers. MFOL filed an amicus brief centering the stories of 20 courageous Illinois citizens whose lives were indelibly impacted by these weapons of war. We demonstrate the breadth of this issue to the Court by sharing these survivors’ experiences, their fierce pride in their state’s democratically enacted law, and the harms they would experience if the Court stripped this act away.

National Association For Gun Rights v. City of Highland Park

Two months after the tragic Fourth of July shooting in Highland Park claimed seven lives and wounded 48 others, the National Association for Gun Rights filed a complaint in Illinois district court against the City of Highland Park’s municipal assault weapons ban. The ban, which passed almost ten years ago, was previously deemed constitutional by district and appellate courts in 2015. Our amicus brief shares the stories of 12 Highland Park citizens impacted by the shooting, including young people and the parents of young children. The brief details their experiences during and after the shooting, their perspectives on Highland Park’s assault weapons ban, and the tangible harms each would experience should the court choose to suspend enforcement of the ban.

NYSRPA v. Bruen

In NYSRPA v. City of New York, we filed an amicus brief that centered the stories of young people and how the Court’s interpretation of the Second Amendment, a purely historical approach, affects their lives in the present day. We did it again in NYSRPA vs. Bruen, drawing upon the narratives of young people impacted by gun violence from Parkland, Florida to Boulder, Colorado to remind the justices whose lives are on the line. 

NYSRPA v. Bruen is the biggest case on the Second Amendment since DC v. Heller in 2008 and McDonald v. Chicago in 2010. It overturned New York’s century-old common-sense concealed carry law, which simply required that applicants demonstrated “proper cause—in other words, a good reason to want a hidden gun in public. What’s more, the majority opinion in the case overhauled the test that every court in the country has used to consider Second Amendment cases for the past 14 years. It dismissed our government’s pressing need to save lives, and squarely focused on the conservative supermajority’s cherry-picked version of “history.” Court decisions do not occur in a vacuum, and this one will cause more people—especially young people—to die. 

No right is without limits, but this court holds the right to bear arms over the 40,000 Americans killed every year by guns. The Constitution governs the American people—it doesn’t and shouldn’t lead them to their deaths. That’s what this amicus brief showed the Court.

Wade v. University of Michigan

Wade v. University of Michigan is a case that will be heard this term by the Michigan Supreme Court (the state’s highest court) concerning the constitutionality of UM’s campus firearm ban under the Second Amendment. The lower Michigan courts had previously upheld the university ordinance which mandates that campus buildings be weapons-free even for those with state-issued concealed carry permits. Much like in the NYSRPA amicus brief from 2019, MFOL is seeking to join as amicus curiae (i.e. someone who seeks to provide information/expertise to the court who is a not a party), and has prepared a brief that highlights the the stories of 7 young people who have been directly impacted by gun violence or the threat of gun violence on educational campuses to show how important UM’s ordinance is to the safety and security of young people pursuing education.

The New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. NYC

This brief presents the voices and stories of young people from Parkland, Florida, to South Central Los Angeles who have been affected directly and indirectly by gun violence. For these students and activists, preventing gun violence is nothing short of an existential issue impacting their public health, public safety, and our democracy. And they have only just begun making their voices heard through the democratic process. In light of their efforts, this brief urges this Court to adhere to its promise that its Second Amendment jurisprudence “by no means eliminates” the ability of Americans, and their governments, “to devise solutions to social problems that suit local needs and values.” McDonald v. City of Chicago, Ill., 561 U.S. 742, 785 (2010). This promise leaves room for participation in the political process and for an appropriate government response. Cutting off this important debate with a ruling that risks prohibiting sensible firearm policies would silence the voices of millions of Americans—many of whom are young people coming of age in an era of school shootings and rampant urban gun violence—and endanger the American public. The Supreme Court declared this case moot, and it was vacated and remanded to lower courts. We submitted an amicus brief in the subsequent case NYSRPA v. Bruen.



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