Attorney General Tong Joins Coalition Backing Commonsense Approach to Concealed Carry Laws(Hartford, CT) – Attorney General William Tong today joined a coalition of 18 state attorneys general in filing an amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court defending New York’s law regulating when individuals may obtain a license to carry firearms in public.
The coalition argues that the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution does not provide Americans with an unrestricted right to carry loaded firearms in virtually all public places, but instead, in keeping with centuries of tradition, allows states to enact policies regulating public carry that are tailored to local public safety concerns and needs.
“The Second Amendment has never meant an unfettered right to carry a loaded, concealed gun into any and all public space. Commonsense laws have always applied to protect public safety. Petitioners in this case are asking the Supreme Court to enable people to carry loaded firearms in virtually any space at any time. This is a reckless argument that flies in the face of centuries of legal precedent, and the Supreme Court must uphold New York’s law,” Attorney General Tong said.
A one-size-fits-all approach to regulating public carry would take away the ability of officials, democratically elected by the people of their states, to address the unique public safety needs of their residents. In this case, New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc. v. Bruen, the petitioners are asking the Supreme Court to grant Americans the right to carry loaded firearms anytime, in virtually any public place – disregarding the established practice that States and local governments may regulate the public carry of firearms in their jurisdictions.
In today’s brief, the coalition argues that throughout the history of this country, public carry regulations have varied from region to region, and that tradition actually goes back more than 700 hundred years in England and pre-dates the founding of the United States. Regulations today and centuries ago “varied substantially between and within the States—the result of accountable policymakers enacting regulatory schemes tailored to local needs and conditions.”
In filing today’s brief, Attorney General Tong joined the attorneys general of California, Delaware, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and the District of Columbia.
A copy of the brief is available here.