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Lawyers Donate Millions in Pro-Bono Work to Help Gun Controllers Fight Trump’s Pro-Gun Push

U.S. gun control activists called for expanded background checks for firearms purchasers and for a ban on sales to people on federal watch lists on Monday, in a protest marking the third anniversary of the massacre at a Connecticut elementary school. Speakers including U.S. Representative Gerry Connolly, a Virginia Democrat, …
REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

On December 7, the New York Times made two things clear: 1. Gun controllers are losing, as exemplified by Donald Trump’s win; 2. Corporate lawyers are coming to their rescue, donating “tens of millions” of dollars worth of pro-bono work to said groups in order to help fight Trump’s pro-gun push.

Teams of corporate lawyers began working for gun controllers in a somewhat unorganized manner after the June 12 Orlando Pulse attack failed to garner any gun control traction. The teams of lawyers were not united, rather, “they worked largely on their own,” the NYT reports. Now they are unifying in hopes of halting the momentum of pro-Second Amendment advocates while simultaneously helping gun controllers secure some of their agenda.

From the NYT:

This effort is highly unusual in its scale. Although law firms often donate time to individual causes, and some firms have worked on gun control on a piecemeal basis, the number and the prominence of the firms involved in the new coalition are unheard-of for modern-day big law. [And] other firms are expected to join [the effort] in coming months.

The article likens law firms’ efforts to litigate guns with efforts to litigate segregation during JFK’s presidency.

It appears the firms realize political support for gun control is gone, so they are focusing instead on a fight that will be marked by “regulatory complaints” and appeals to “regulatory agencies.” They are also weighing action against state-level gun laws that have yet to be challenged in court, specifically, laws that “force businesses to allow guns to be carried on their property.”

Charlie Lifland, leading partner with the O’Melveny & Myers firm said, “This [gun control] coalition brings together more resources, more brainpower and more lawyers dedicated to making our clients and our nation safer.”

But, as the NYT points out, the law firms supporting gun control will not go unchallenged for long. President Trump is expected to field a team to counter them. Moreover, the NRA has “considerable advantages” over the pro-bono coalition, much of which consists of the tireless five million-plus members of the pro-Second Amendment group.

The NRA’s Jennifer Baker spoke to the strength that the NRA brings to the table:

The power of the NRA lies with our members and the tens of millions of Americans who support the Second Amendment. The gun control lobby made this election a referendum on gun control, and they lost because the majority of Americans support the Second Amendment and they vote to protect their constitutional right to self-protection.

AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and host of “Bullets with AWR Hawkins,” a Breitbart News podcast. He is also the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at


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