The recent election of Donald Trump marks another victory for the United States’ gun lobby, which has grown considerably over recent years. In response, advocates of gun control are now looking to curb the lobby’s influence through collaboration with corporate law firms. Following the Orlando nightclub shooting as well as many others, the law firms Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison; Covington & Burling; Arnold & Porter; and four others have committed to providing tens of millions of dollars in free legal services to gun control groups. While law firms have provided pro bono services in the past, the size and scale of this initiative are unprecedented since the legal battle over desegregation under President John F. Kennedy.
The coalition, the Firearms Accountability Counsel Task Force, plans to focus its attention on courts and state regulatory agencies rather than appeal to Congress. The group is looking to fight policies that force businesses, schools, and airports to allow guns on their property, as well as challenge the legal restrictions on publishing gun violence data. Although the National Rifle Association has already begun posturing against the Counsel, members of the coalition have reiterated that the effort is intended only to prevent gun violence. As Brad Brian, co-managing partner at Munger, Tolles & Olson explains, “There is an epidemic of gun violence in this country, and the law can save innocent lives without infringing constitutional rights.”
Learn more at the New York Times.