The attorneys general of 22 states have filed an amicus brief in a lawsuit that seeks to overturn New York’s SAFE Act, claiming the law is unconstitutional.
Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange filed the brief in the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals as part of the lawsuit Nojay v. Cuomo, which was filed by individual gun owners and organizations challenging New York’s gun ban.
“This brief is about protecting the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens to bear arms in the defense of themselves and their families,” Strange said.
“I and other attorneys general believe these fundamental rights deserve the highest protection and that New York’s gun ban is unconstitutional under principles the Supreme Court has already established,” said Strange.
Alabama’s attorney general, the lead author of the bipartisan brief, was joined by attorneys general from Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, and Wyoming.
The brief urges the court to scrutinize New York’s ban of certain semiautomatic weapons. It also argues the ban is unconstitutional because the state has failed to show how the ban would increase public safety or decrease gun violence.
“Because New York’s law amounts to a categorical ban of firearms commonly used for lawful purposes by law-abiding citizens, this court should subject the law to strict scrutiny under its tiers of scrutiny framework,” the brief states.
The SAFE Act “fails strict scrutiny” and the brief says studies show the “federal assault weapons ban had no measurable effect on gun violence, and police officers oppose such bans.”
Furthermore, criminals will “continue to obtain weapons with the banned safety features, placing law-abiding citizens at risk.”