THE CITY OF NEW YORK; THE CITY OF PHILADELPHIA; THE CITY AND COUNTY OF SAN FRANCISCO, Plaintiffs - Appellants,
THE UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE; THE UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE; THE UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY; THE UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY; JAMES N. MATTIS, in his official capacity as United States Secretary of Defense; HEATHER A. WILSON, in her official capacity as United States Secretary of the Air Force; RICHARD V. SPENCER, in his official capacity as United States Secretary of the Navy; DR. MARK T. ESPER, in his official capacity as United States Secretary of the Army; DERMOT F. O'REILLY, in his official capacity as Director of the Defense Criminal Investigative Service; COLONEL KIRK B. STABLER, in his official capacity as Commander of the Air Force Office of Special Investigations; ANDREW L. TRAVER, in his official capacity as Director of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service; MAJOR GENERAL DAVID P. GLASER, in his official capacity as Commanding General of the United States Army Criminal Investigation Command; REAR ADMIRAL JOHN B. NOWELL, in his official capacity as Commander of the Navy Personnel Command and Deputy Chief of Naval Personnel, Defendants - Appellees.
Argued: December 11, 2018
from the United States District Court for the Eastern
District of Virginia, at Alexandria. Claude M. Hilton, Senior
District Judge. (1:17-cv-01464-CMH-MSN)
Matthew Jeffrey MacLean, PILLSBURY WINTHROP SHAW PITTMAN LLP,
Washington, D.C., for Appellants.
R. Walters, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, Washington,
D.C., for Appellees.
B. LoBue, Jeetander Dulani, Washington, D.C., Kenneth W.
Taber, Matthew F. Putorti, Nicholas M. Buell, PILLSBURY
WINTHROP SHAW PITTMAN LLP, New York, New York, for
Proshansky, Melanie C.T. Ash, Eric Lee, Claude S. Platton,
Zachary W. Carter, CORPORATION COUNSEL OF THE CITY OF NEW
YORK, NEW YORK CITY LAW DEPARTMENT, New York, New York, for
Appellant City of New York.
J. Herrera, Yvonne R. Mere, Owen J. Clements, SAN FRANCISCO
CITY ATTORNEY'S OFFICE, San Francisco, California, for
Appellant City and County of San Francisco.
S. Pratt, Eleanor N. Ewing, Benjamin H. Field, CITY OF
PHILADELPHIA LAW DEPARTMENT, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, for
Appellant City of Philadelphia.
H. Hunt, Assistant Attorney General, Mark B. Stern, Civil
Division, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, Washington,
D.C.; G. Zachary Terwilliger, United States Attorney, OFFICE
OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY, Alexandria, Virginia; Michael
J. Fucci, Associate General Counsel, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT
OF DEFENSE, Washington, D.C., for Appellees.
WILKINSON, AGEE, and THACKER, Circuit Judges.
WILKINSON, Circuit Judge
are three municipalities who use the National Instant
Criminal Background Check System to carry out their
obligations under state law. This system, known as the NICS,
is managed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The
Department of Defense (DOD) is required under federal law to
provide records to the NICS but has persistently been unable
to fully carry out this obligation. The appellants sued DOD
and its constituent military departments to compel the
department's more thorough compliance. The district court
dismissed their claim, holding both that the appellants
lacked constitutional standing and failed to establish
subject matter jurisdiction under the Administrative
Procedure Act. For the following reasons, we affirm.
responsibility to combat gun violence falls on every level of
government. Law enforcement officials, whether local, state,
or federal, work to prevent senseless gun violence and are
often the first to risk their lives to protect our
communities. Working alongside these officers are many other
governmental partners, including agencies of the federal
government. The dispute here grows out of a program that
facilitates information sharing between federal agencies and
local law enforcement officials: The National Instant
Criminal Background Check System.
Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, or Brady Act,
established the first nationwide system for background
checks. Pub. L. No. 103-159, 107 Stat. 1536 (1993). Under the
law, enacted in 1993, a background check was required for
firearms sales by licensed dealers. Id. § 102.
The Brady Act directed the Attorney General to establish a
national database that would be accessible to the firearms
dealers tasked with ensuring these background checks were
performed. Id. § 102(b). To implement the
statute, the Attorney General ...