AG Wilson part of 17-state coalition against overreaching gun restriction
by Robert Joseph Baker | October 12, 2018 4:17 am
Last Updated: October 11, 2018 at 2:58 am
South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson on Tuesday joined with 16 other states in a court brief supporting Second Amendment rights in response to New York City’s “premises permit” restrictions applicable to handguns kept for self-defense. The coalition asks the United States Supreme Court to consider the permitting scheme’s burden on Second Amendment rights, the full extent of those rights, and the applicability of those rights to self-defense outside the home.
“We think New York’s restriction clearly violates the Second Amendment,” Wilson said. “As our states’ top prosecutors, we’re all in favor of making our communities safer, but these restrictions don’t do that.”
New York City requires a costly and restrictive “premises permit” to own a personal handgun for self-defense. The permit prohibits taking the weapon outside the home for any purpose except to practice at one of the New York City shooting ranges or to go hunting within the state, but hunting requires authorization from the city’s police department.
The restriction entirely prohibits leaving the state with the weapon. The costly “carry” permit is required to remove the weapon from the home for other purposes and is difficult to obtain.
The 16-State coalition urges the Supreme Court to review the case and provide clear guidance on the scope of the Second Amendment and specifically to confirm that self-defense is not just limited to the home.
The States argue that while city and state governments have an interest in public safety and crime prevention, New York City offered no evidence that demonstrated its regulations actually enhance public safety and crime prevention. In fact, its restrictive scheme has the opposite effect by arbitrarily limiting a gun owner’s ability to become proficient with their own weapon, requiring thousands of people to buy additional weapons and causing thousands of weapons to be left in unoccupied houses.
“There are so many things wrong with New York’s restrictions that we had to get involved,” Wilson said. “Our Founding Fathers did not require our citizens to get permits to defend themselves or to take their guns outside their homes to go hunting.”
The States also point out the significant economic impact of hunting and shooting sports.
“New York’s regulatory scheme discriminates against interstate commerce because it ‘deprives out-of-state businesses of access to a local market’ by forbidding its citizens from hunting and patronizing ranges outside the State with their own guns,” the States wrote.
The 16 States joining in the brief through their attorneys general are Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Montana, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, West Virginia and Wisconsin. They are joined by the governors of Mississippi and Kentucky.
Read the full brief here.