CINCINNATI (CN) – The 6th Circuit threw out a Canadian man’s appeal of the venue-based dismissal of his challenge to a federal law prohibiting him from buying a firearm at a sporting goods store in Minnesota.
Stephen Dearth tried to buy a firearm in January 2006, but because he does not have a federal firearms license, he had to fill out a form that asked, among other things, “What is your state of residence (if any)?” Dearth wasn’t able to provide a state, so the sale was canceled.
He contacted the FBI and learned that, as a Canadian citizen, he could not buy a firearm “except for lawful sporting purposes.”
Dearth and the Second Amendment Foundation filed suit against the attorney general in the Southern District of Ohio, seeking to enjoin the enforcement of the federal law. Plaintiffs later added U.S. attorney Gregory Lockhart as a defendant.
The government moved to dismiss the complaint for improper venue or, alternatively, to transfer it to another court. Plaintiffs asked the court to dismiss their claim without prejudice instead of transferring it, if that’s how the court ruled.
But a plaintiff who requests or consents to have his case dismissed cannot appeal that dismissal because the request was voluntary, the court ruled.
“Courts do not favor this sort of end-run around the final judgment rule to make interlocutory orders immediately appealable,” Judge Rogers wrote.