Gov. Bevin Defends Second Amendment Rights of Kentuckians in Supreme Court Amicus Brief

Joins 23 states in challenging New York’s restrictive handgun law

Media Contact: Nicole Burton

FRANKFORT, Ky. (May 20, 2019) – Gov. Matt Bevin has joined 23 other states in a U.S. Supreme Court amicus brief in defense of Second Amendment rights. The brief challenges a burdensome New York City handgun law that, if upheld, could lead to infringements upon the Second Amendment freedoms enjoyed by Kentuckians.

The amicus brief was filed in response to a restrictive law that criminalizes taking a handgun outside the home, thus denying citizens the ability to defend themselves and their property. The brief recognizes this restriction as both “inconsistent with history” and “unreasonable,” noting that “carrying arms outside of the home, historically, was a vital component of self-defense.”

This burdensome ordinance also prohibits traveling with a firearm inside of a vehicle, threatening the free flow of commerce and tourism between New York and states like Kentucky. Such a severe restriction not only poses a significant barrier to interstate travel, but also could have devastating consequences for states, like Kentucky, that enjoy a thriving hunting tourism industry.

“This is the first Second Amendment case heard by the Supreme Court in nearly a decade,” said Steve Pitt, General Counsel to Gov. Bevin. “We joined this case without reservation because Kentuckians have a vested interest in ensuring that states like New York cannot infringe upon the right of Kentucky citizens to bear arms. It is critically important that the Supreme Court hear directly from the Commonwealth when deciding this important issue.”

In October, Gov. Bevin joined a 16-state coalition in an amicus brief requesting that the Supreme Court hear the case. The court granted certiorari in January, and Kentucky immediately banded with 23 other states to file this brief in support of the case’s merits.

Gov. Bevin was joined by the Governor of Mississippi in signing the brief. Twenty-two additional states joined the brief through their Attorneys General, including Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and West Virginia.

A copy of the brief is available here.