Attorney General Cameron Defends Second Amendment Before U.S. Supreme Court

FRANKFORT, Ky. (July 22, 2021) –Attorney General Daniel Cameron joined a coalition of 26 states to defend the Second Amendment before the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS). The states filed an amicus brief in New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. Corlett, urging the court to declare New York’s firearm licensure regime unconstitutional. This case is a landmark Second Amendment case that SCOTUS will hear in its next term.

To obtain a permit to carry a firearm outside the home, the State of New York requires citizens to “demonstrate a special need for self-protection distinguishable from that of the general community or of persons engaged in the same profession.”  The coalition argues New York’s subjective-issue carry laws harm public safety and are contrary to the original public meaning of the Second Amendment.

“Kentuckians respect the Second Amendment and understand its importance to our nation’s identity,” said Attorney General Cameron. “New York’s departure from the Constitution threatens public safety in every state and prevents law-abiding citizens from protecting themselves outside of their home. I will always defend the right to keep and bear arms.”

In the brief, the Attorneys General cite examples of citizens in good legal standing who were denied carry permits after demonstrating a need, proving New York’s “proper cause” requirement instead serves as a de facto ban for virtually all ordinary citizens. The Attorneys General argue that if SCOTUS upholds the Second Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision, it will threaten the liberty of citizens in every state.

The coalition of Attorneys General also explains that the original public meaning of the Second Amendment allows citizens to bear arms for self-defense outside their home. Citing SCOTUS’s Heller v. D.C. decision, the coalition argues, “[i]n Heller, following the text and history of the Second Amendment, this Court held that the federal constitution ‘guarantee[s] the individual right to possess and carry weapons in case of confrontation.’” Further, the Heller decision made clear that any prohibition that “makes it impossible for citizens” to engage in self-defense violates the Second Amendment.

Attorney General Cameron joined the Arizona- and Missouri-led brief alongside the Attorneys General of Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

View the amicus brief here