Attorney General Ken Paxton today joined a 17-state friend-of-the-court brief to defend the right of citizens to keep and bear arms. The case challenges New York City’s unconstitutional gun law, which denies millions of Americans their constitutionally-protected right to own a firearm.
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 other than to practice at one of the city’s shooting ranges and prohibits leaving the state with the weapon. An expensive “carry” permit is required to remove a weapon from a home for other purposes and is almost impossible for regular Americans to obtain.
“When municipalities like New York City criminalize basic elements of a constitutional right, they put our entire constitution in danger,” Attorney General Paxton said. “The Second Amendment is foundational to preserving our republic and cannot be so restricted as to render it meaningless.”
In the brief, Attorney General Paxton and the multistate coalition 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.
Louisiana authored the brief. Joining Louisiana and Texas on the brief are the attorneys general of Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Michigan, Montana, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah, West Virginia and Wisconsin, along with the governors of Mississippi and Kentucky.