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AG Derek Schmidt to U.S. Supreme Court: Second Amendment rights extend outside the home

Release Date: Jul 20, 2021

TOPEKA – (July 20, 2021) – The Second Amendment’s protection for the individual right of law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms applies outside a person’s residence, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt today told the U.S. Supreme Court.

Schmidt joined with 25 other state attorneys general in filing an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court urging the justices to reverse a ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit that upheld a New York law requiring law-abiding citizens to provide documentation of “proper cause” as to why they should permitted to carry a weapon for protection or other legal use outside the home.

The attorneys general said the New York law is in direct conflict with a 2008 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that the Second Amendment includes the right of law-abiding citizens to keep and bear weapons in self-defense, including legally carrying such a weapon outside the home and across state lines. Laws similar to the New York system have been invalidated in several cases in recent years, including a Hawaii law struck down by the 9th Circuit in 2018.

Schmidt said the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on the matter would provide clarity that the Second Amendment rights of Kansans and all law-abiding citizens to carry a weapon outside the home is constitutionally protected.

New York’s system for issuing permits runs contrary to Kansas and 41 other states that maintain a “shall issue” licensing regime based on objective criteria for granting a permit, which can include background checks, fingerprinting, and training in firearms handling and/or laws regarding use of force. The attorneys general argue in their brief that New York’s system creates a fundamental burden on citizens without advancing the objectives of public safety and crime prevention, leaving firearms in the hands of a select, chosen few who can demonstrate to the government a “special need.”

The amicus brief in N.Y. State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc., v. Bruen can be found at https://bit.ly/3znJSgZ.

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