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26 GOP AGs file brief in support of Second Amendment, concealed carry laws at Supreme Court

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FIRST ON FOX: A coalition of more than two dozen Republican state attorneys general have filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court urging justices to declare a New York state concealed carry gun law unconstitutional.

Attorneys General Mark Brnovich of Arizona and Eric Schmitt of Missouri are co-leading the group of 26 states filing the legal brief in New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. Corlett — a case backed by the National Rifle Association (NRA) that deals with a New York law limiting who can carry concealed handguns outside their homes.

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“Law-abiding citizens should not require the consent of faceless bureaucrats to exercise their right to keep and bear arms,” Brnovich said in a Tuesday statement. “New York cannot override the Second Amendment or the natural right of self-preservation. I will continue to vigorously protect Americans’ constitutional rights.”

The Supreme Court on April 26 agreed to hear an appellate court’s ruling upholding New York’s state rules under the 1911 Sullivan Act.

The filing includes a number of examples of law-abiding New York residents who were denied firearm permits even after demonstrating a “need” for one, according to a Tuesday press release. 

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The amicus brief from the attorneys general comes less than two weeks after Rep. Claudia Tenney, R-N.Y., announced on July 7 that she had the support of 168 House Republicans in filing an amicus brief in the Supreme Court case backing the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association’s lawsuit.

Damon Thueson shows a holster at a gun concealed carry permit class put on by "USA Firearms Training" in Provo, Utah. (Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)

Damon Thueson shows a holster at a gun concealed carry permit class put on by “USA Firearms Training” in Provo, Utah. (Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)

Tenney similarly argues that New York’s law denying concealed carry licenses to law-abiding citizens without a “proper cause” determined by the state is a violation of Second Amendment rights, the congresswoman announced Tuesday.

“This would probably give some clarity on a national level as to the ability to restrict Second Amendment rights when it comes to concealed carry, particularly outside the home,” Tenney told Fox News at the time.

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New York is among eight states that limit who has the right to carry a weapon in public. The others are: California, Delaware, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Rhode Island.

The New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. Corlett case involves two petitioners, Robert Nash and Brandon Koch, who were denied concealed carry licenses because New York State Police Superintendent Richard McNally determined they did not have a “proper cause” for their requests.

Nash’s request cited recent robberies in his neighborhood and his recent completion of an advanced firearm course as the “proper cause” for his license request.

McNally “denied the application on the ground that” Nash did not show proper cause “to carry a firearm in public for the purpose of self-defense, because he did not demonstrate a special need for self-defense that distinguished him from the general public,” the lawsuit states.

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Koch requested a license to conceal carry for self-defense and cited his experience in safely handling firearms and a number of safety training courses as his proper cause, which McNally denied. 

Attorneys general in the coalition represent Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming.

Fox News’ Kelly Laco and Ronn Blitzer contributed to this report.



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