We are excited to announce that SCOTUSblog has chosen to highlight our Petition to the Supreme Court on behalf of Khalid Turaani.
As citizens of the United States, we accept that when laws are made they result in rules and standards that we must all abide by, even if we don’t always agree with our lawmaker’s decisions. The real problem comes when those rules and standards are not equally applied.
In 1974, the Privacy Act was established to balance the government’s need to maintain information about individuals with the rights of individuals to be protected against unwarranted invasions of their privacy. “All Americans have the fundamental right to privacy, free from government interference and unlawful disclosures, as the Privacy Act protects,” argues Christina A. Jump, Civil Litigation Department Head for CLCMA. “That’s why we at CLCMA decided to take on the case of Khalid Turaani—a law-abiding citizen, [who] has been denied the ability to exercise his rights under the Second Amendment as well as his right to live without improper government interference, with no reasons given.”
Khalid Turaani’s case has to do with events that occurred back in 2017, when he attempted to exercise his 2nd amendment right to purchase a firearm. Before his purchase could be completed, an FBI agent called the seller and informed him that Turaani was the subject of a federal investigation, a fact which resulted in the seller denying Khalid’s purchase. Subsequently, the FBI sent agents to speak to people in his neighborhood multiple times, making unsupported and damaging statements such as “we don’t like the company he keeps” and vague references to possible investigations, despite the lack of any charges ever being brought. In fact, Khalid Turaani has no criminal record. There’s absolutely no reason he should be placed under government suspicion.
Despite one judge already acknowledging that the actions of the FBI agents were a violation of the Privacy Act, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals failed to apply the correct standard in Khalid’s case when evaluating his claims under that Act. Their argument was instead that Turaani did not “meet the standard…requirements to establish Article III standing because his injury was not caused by the FBI, but rather by the independent actions of a third party.” In other words, their contention was that the seller made an independent decision to deny Khalid his purchase outside of any influence of the FBI agents.
Khalid, represented by CLCMA, is now asking the Supreme Court “to enforce the Privacy Act’s protection against improper disclosures” and to determine a clear causality between the actions of the FBI agents and the seller’s decision to deny him the legal purchase of a firearm. CLCMA looks forward to protecting the rights of Khalid Turaani and all of its clients to live without unlawful interference or intimidation by the government.
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