U.S. Supreme Court Agrees To Hear New York 2nd Amendment Case Championed By Arizona AG

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The announcement Monday that the U.S. Supreme Court will decide a challenge to New York’s restrictive permitting process for possessing handguns outside someone’s home was welcomed news for Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, who joined several of his counterparts earlier this year to argue in support of law-abiding citizens to carry firearms in self-defense outside the home.

“Standing up for the Second Amendment is our responsibility,” Brnovich tweeted after learning that the Justices agreed to hear the case. “Arizona is proud to be co-leading a 23-state coalition that says our rights do not end when we step out of our home.”

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Brnovich co-authored an amici curiae brief with the Missouri Attorney General’s Office in February urging the Justices to grant review of New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. Corlett in order “to restore the original public meaning of the Second Amendment.” Other groups which supported review of the case included the National Association of Chiefs of Police and the Western States Sheriffs’ Association.

However, it took the justices three conference discussions before agreeing to accept the case, which will be heard during the court’s 2021-2022 term which starts in October. It is the first significant Second Amendment case to come before the court in over a decade.

Arizona is one of 42 states which utilize objective-issue permitting, also known as “Shall Issue” permitting, in which specific, objective criteria is involved in determining whether an applicant is issued certain firearm permits. The criteria can include items such as background check, mental health records check, fingerprinting, knowledge of applicable laws, and firearms training.

New York law, however, requires a restrictive permitting process known as subjective-issue or “proper cause” in which an applicant must meet certain objective criteria and also demonstrate “a special need for self-protection distinguishable from that of the general community or of persons engaged in the same profession.”

The brief by Brnovich and Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt argued the New York law infringes on the Second Amendment right of citizens to bear arms in self-defense when they are away from their residence.

“Our constitution recognizes self-defense as a fundamental right and respects the essential role firearms can play in keeping ourselves and our families safe,” Brnovich said in announcing the brief earlier this year.

Also signing on to the amicus brief were the attorneys general of Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, and West Virginia.