Press Release

Giffords Calls Out Extremist Views of Cory T. Wilson by Urging the Senate to Reject his Nomination to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals

Gun safety group warns that Wilson could push the court toward an extreme interpretation of Second Amendment rights

May 20, 2020 — Ahead of the anticipated Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the nomination of Cory T. Wilson to serve as a judge for the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, Giffords urged members to reject his nomination based on his extreme views toward gun safety. Wilson is the latest in a growing line of judicial nominees put forth by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell that appear eager to rewrite settled jurisprudence on gun laws. In a letter to committee members, Giffords pointed to Wilson’s dangerous and irregular view of gun regulation as the key reason he should not move forward.

In the letter, Chief Counsel & Policy Director Adam Skaggs notes that, “Mr. Wilson, if confirmed to the Fifth Circuit, would be called upon to rule on the NRA’s radical attempts to upend constitutional precedent and dismantle broadly supported gun safety measures. Mr. Wilson’s confirmation could tilt the balance towards Second Amendment extremism.”

Wilson’s record during his tenure as a state legislator demonstrated near-blind allegiance to the gun lobby and numerous attempts to undermine Mississippi’s already-weak existing gun laws. In recent years, the Fifth Circuit Court has issued close rulings on gun laws, including an 8–7 ruling in Mance v. Barr upholding federal requirements for out-of-state handgun purchases. Wilson’s extreme and unusual views of gun safety would undoubtedly put gun safety laws in jeopardy.

Recently, the Supreme Court ruled on its first Second Amendment case in a decade, New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. City of New York, declaring the case moot. However, at least four justices expressed an interest and desire to take on more cases examining state laws related to the Second Amendment. The presence of Second Amendment absolutists like Cory Wilson in the appellate courts will increase the number of cases that could rise to the highest court in the land and the possibility of commonsense, life-saving gun safety laws being overturned. Giffords urges the Senate Judiciary Committee, and the full US Senate, to reject the nomination of Cory T. Wilson to serve on the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.