The Second Amendment and Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) might be on a collision course with federal and state law after an Amish man filed a federal lawsuit following an unsuccessful attempt buy a gun without a photo ID.

The man who filled the suit, Andrew Hertzler, is an practicing member of the Amish community which prohibits having members from having their picture knowingly taken. This statement from the suit explains the religious objection.

“The Amish faith prohibits an individual from having his/her photograph taken,” the suit read. “This belief stems from the Biblical passage Exodus 20:4, which mandates that ‘You shall not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth,’ as well as the Christian belief in humility.”

Mr. Hertzler attempted to purchase a hunting gun at a dealer in June using his state issued non-photo ID. However, the dealer refused to sell him a firearm because federal firearm laws require photo identification when purchasing a firearm. This meant that he either had to violate his deeply held religious beliefs or forgo his constitutional right to own a firearm. This catch-22 is what prompted him to file a federal lawsuit. The suit invokes the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) which was passed to “ensure that interests in religious freedom are protected.”

Ultimately the case will come down to whether or not religious liberties outweigh the federal government’s concerns over public safety in requiring photo identification to purchase a firearm.

Image from Otoomet on Wiki Media Commons

What's Your Reaction?

Like
Like Love Haha Wow Sad Angry

8 thoughts on “Religious Discrimination? Amish Man Sues for Right to Buy Gun Without ID

  1. There has to be more to this. He is filling a lawsuit– a major, major violation of his faith. He would be censored and likely kicked out of the community if his Bishop got wind. Is he leaving? Was he excommunicated prior to this? Is there really a lawsuit or just a legal complaint? It’s just not holding water.

    1. Bros that’s not completely right, while individual Amish do not sue to protect their own material interests, in matters of religious issues and moral conscience they are more likely to give consent to court action. Examples of this include the landmark 1972 Wisconsin vs. Yoder Supreme Court case, which granted Amish the right to remove their children from schooling after the eighth grade. Groups of Amish have also been involved in lawsuits in recent cases regarding cattle tagging,building codes, and health insurance, relying on religious beliefs arguments in arguing their sides. Some Amish sects have relaxed on some of there views as the elders(old order)have been passing an younger generations(new order) that have stayed in the community after Rumspringa(not all sects partake in this) start to take over the elders roles. Also actions that wouldn’t be considered inline with their religious beliefs if done by a individual my be allowed by the community if its seen to protect or benefit the community as a whole.
      The number of members excommunicated and shunned by the Amish is small. On a last note I would recommend to anyone that wants to learn more about the Amish do so, but be warned you may not like what you you find as all things are not what they seem.

  2. Bros that’s not completely right, while individual Amish do not sue to protect their own material interests, in matters of religious issues and moral conscience they are more likely to give consent to court action. Examples of this include the landmark 1972 Wisconsin vs. Yoder Supreme Court case, which granted Amish the right to remove their children from schooling after the eighth grade. Groups of Amish have also been involved in lawsuits in recent cases regarding cattle tagging,building codes, and health insurance, relying on religious beliefs arguments in arguing their sides. Some Amish sects have relaxed on some of there views as the elders(old order)have been passing an younger generations(new order) that have stayed in the community after Rumspringa(not all sects partake in this) start to take over the elders roles. Also actions that wouldn’t be considered inline with their religious beliefs if done by a individual my be allowed by the community if its seen to protect or benefit the community as a whole.
    The number of members excommunicated and shunned by the Amish is small. On a last note I would recommend to anyone that wants to learn more about the Amish do so, but be warned you may not like what you you find as all things are not what they seem.

  3. This is an extremely interesting outcome of quixotic interpretations , by legislators and judges , of clearly delineated Constitutional rights . Maybe an examination of the interpretations by both is in order !

  4. Outdoor Hub editor,
    I wish to complain about your use of, or copying, misleading headlines in the publication of your articles. Could you please credit your readership with a modicum of common sense and apply correct and truthful headlines to your articles. You must agree there is an extreme amount of sensationalism around gun purchase and ownership in the media, at present, without you jumping on the bandwagon, so to speak.

  5. I think the Feds should not provide religious exemptions for any law that applies to people in general; certainly not if some alternative way could be found to achieve the law’s purpose. I should think fingerprinting for those claiming a religious exemption to photographs would serve the purpose, though it might be a foot-in-the-door for those who would have all firearms buyers fingerprinted. But it’s important not to provide religious exemptions from laws, because those exemptions spawn the founding of churches for the sole purpose of enjoying the benefits of such exemptions. Many churches have been founded merely to take advantage of tax exemptions, for instance. Some have been founded, apparently, to sell mail-order ordinations which are then used to perform marriages in wedding chapels.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *