Attorney General Chris Carr joined with 16 other states this week in filing an amicus brief in the United States Supreme Court supporting Second Amendment rights in a case involving New York City’s restrictions on handguns kept for self-defense.
“The Second Amendment gives law abiding citizens the right not only to keep, but also to bear, arms,” said Attorney General Chris Carr. “We will continue to stand up and fight attempts to restrict the rights of law-abiding citizens.”
New York City requires a costly and restrictive “premises permit” to own a personal handgun for self-defense. The U.S Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit upheld the permit’s heavy restrictions, which prohibit taking the weapon outside the home for any purpose other than to practice at a New York City shooting range, and also prohibit leaving the city or state with the weapon.
The 17-state coalition urges the Supreme Court to review the case to provide clear guidance on the scope of the Second Amendment and specifically to confirm that the fundamental right of self-defense that the Amendment protects is not just limited to the home. The brief argues that while city and state governments have interests in public safety and crime prevention, New York City offered no evidence that demonstrated its restrictions actually enhance public safety or prevent crime. If anything, the City’s restrictive scheme does the opposite by arbitrarily limiting gun owners’ ability to become proficient with their own weapons, requiring thousands of people to buy additional weapons, and causing thousands of weapons to be left in unoccupied houses. The brief also supports a Commerce Clause challenge to the City’s restrictions, pointing out the significant economic impact of hunting and shooting sports.
Georgia joined the brief along with the attorneys general of Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Montana, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, and Wisconsin, and the governors of Mississippi and Kentucky.