For the first time in more than a decade the U.S. Supreme Court will hear a potentially landmark case involving Second Amendment rights. Alaska is one of 22 states to file an amicus brief in support of gun rights.
The case involves two men who were denied conceal carry permits in New York. They are now challenging the state law that prohibits law-abiding residents from carrying a concealed firearm outside the home unless they can show “proper cause” – or a special reason or need to provide self-protection. The men hold that law abiding citizens have a constitutional right to carry guns outside the home.
More than a decade ago the Supreme Court upheld the right to posses a firearm in one’s home for self-defense. The current case will look at whether the Second Amendment also guarantees the right to carry a firearm outside of one’s home.
Alaska’s Attorney General Treg Taylor noted that the amicus brief states that New York’s gun law is essentially a “subjective-issue permitting” process which infringes on citizens’ right to bear arms in self-defense outside the home. The brief also cited empirical evidence demonstrating that subjective issue permitting decreases safety and deprives citizens of the means to defend themselves from crime.
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“In Alaska we recognize and respect the essential role firearms can play in keeping ourselves and our families safe, including outside of our homes,” Alaska Attorney General Treg Taylor stated in announcing that Alaska was backing the case. “I am pleased that the U.S. Supreme Court has chosen to hear this important case.”
Gov. Mike Dunleavy also weighed in.
“While Alaska not only recognizes but cherishes its freedoms under the Second Amendment, many Americans in other parts of the country are unconstitutionally prevented from fully exercising their Second Amendment rights,” Dunleavy stated. “I am encouraged the Court is taking up this case and could affirm a fundamental right to safely and responsibly carry a firearm outside of their home.”
The Supreme Court will take up the case at the start of its 2021-22 term, which begins in August.