Attorney General Jeff Landry Joins 22 Others In Amicus Brief Challenging Subjective-Issue Firearm Permitting in SCOTUS Case

Attorney General Jeff Landry announced that he has joined a coalition of 23 state attorneys general in filing an amicus brief in New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. Corlett in the United States Supreme Court. The brief, led by Missouri and Arizona, argues that permitting law-abiding citizens to carry firearms in self-defense outside the home respects their fundamental rights and deters violent crime. The brief notes that “subjective-issue permitting regimes,” such as those in New York and other states, infringe on citizens’ Second Amendment right to bear arms in self-defense outside the home. The brief also argues, citing empirical evidence, that subjective-issue permitting decreases safety and deprives citizens of a means to defend themselves from crime.

“Every American has a God-given, fundamental right to self-defense,” General Landry said. “Whether a person is inside or outside their home has no bearing on that right. These restrictive policies decrease public safety and violate the Second Amendment.”

The amicus brief, which was filed January 21, makes two central arguments in defending citizens’ right to self-defense: objective-issue permitting increases public safety while subjective-issue permitting like New York’s decreases public safety, and the original meaning of the Second Amendment protects the right to bear arms for self-defense outside of the home. 

Forty-two states have objective-issue, or “shall-issue”, permitting regimes, meaning permits are issued to applications that meet objective criteria. Like a background check, mental health records check, fingerprinting, knowledge of applicable laws, firearms training, or other requirements. However, in addition to these objective criteria, New York requires an applicant “‘demonstrate a special need for self-protection distinguishable from that of the general community or of persons engaged in the same profession.'” Attorney General Landry and his colleagues contend that this requirement violates the very core of the Second Amendment, which secures every law-abiding American’s right to carry a firearm in self-defense. 

The brief urges the Supreme Court to grant certiorari and reaffirm the original public meaning of the Second Amendment, allowing citizens to keep and bear arms for self-defense outside of their homes.  

 Along with Missouri and Arizona, state attorneys general from Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, and West Virginia also joined the brief. 

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The full brief can be found here.