Lawsuit Comes Days Before Anticipated House Vote on National Reciprocity Act

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Democracy Forward Foundation and Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence filed a suit against the Department of Justice (DOJ) after the Trump Administration refused to disclose the extent of its coordination with the National Rifle Association (NRA) to advance the gun lobby’s top legislative priority: a bill to allow almost anyone to carry a loaded, concealed weapons anywhere in America.

Coming days ahead of an anticipated House vote on the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017, the new filing is one in a series of challenges to uncover the full extent of the NRA’s role in directing President Trump’s gun policy agenda, including the Administration’s roll back of gun violence prevention policies and the White House’s public defense of the gun lobby in the wake of recent mass shootings.

“Last year, 38,000 Americans died from gun violence, a crisis which has claimed the lives of over 500 law enforcement officers in the past decade,” said Robyn Thomas, Executive Director of the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. “Instead of working to reduce the devastating impact of gun violence, the Trump Administration is working with the gun lobby to make American communities less safe.”

“Federally mandated concealed carry reciprocity would create a dangerous race to the bottom, allowing a single state to dictate who can carry a loaded weapon on the streets of any city or community in America,” said Democracy Forward Policy and Strategy Director Corey Ciorciari. “Not only is the Trump Administration doing the gun lobby’s bidding at the expense of public safety—they’re trying to keep it behind closed doors.”

The suit was filed against the DOJ after the agency failed to provide records in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request seeking, among other things:

  • Communications between DOJ officials and the NRA regarding concealed carry reciprocity, silencers and bump stocks; and
  • Records related to the Trump Administration and gun lobbying groups’ coordinated responses immediately following the Las Vegas tragedy.

The suit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

Giffords Law Center is being represented on a pro bono basis by Democracy Forward Foundation.


Democracy Forward is a nonprofit legal organization that scrutinizes Executive Branch activity across policy areas, represents clients in litigation to challenge unlawful actions, and educates the public when the White House or federal agencies break the law.

For nearly 25 years, the legal experts at Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence have been fighting for a safer America by researching, drafting, and defending the laws, policies, and programs proven to save lives from gun violence.

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