Wednesday, July 19, 2023

Twenty Attorneys General Back SAF in Legal Fight Against Delaware's Gun Control Laws


A coalition of attorneys general from twenty states, under the leadership of Montana's Attorney General, Austin Knudsen, has shown support for firearm rights organizations which are challenging a lower court's decision that maintained Delaware's gun control laws. The laws under scrutiny include the prohibition of "assault rifles" and "large-capacity magazines," which these organizations argue is an infringement of the Second Amendment. The coalition posits that the Delaware legislation contradicts the historical custom of regulating "dangerous and unusual" weaponry rather than an outright ban on commonly used firearms and attachments. 

This isn't the first instance where Republican attorneys general have united to support opposition to gun control regulations. The previous year, twenty-five of them backed a lawsuit initiated by the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) and other groups seeking to invalidate Maryland's ban on "assault weapons".

In a consolidated effort, twenty attorneys general have contributed to an amicus brief presented to the U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals, advocating for the appeal efforts of several gun rights organizations aiming to reverse a lower court's verdict that endorsed Delaware's firearm control regulations.

The coalition, led by Montana's Attorney General, is composed of attorneys general from various states including Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

Gun rights groups have disputed the Delaware legislation which bans "assault rifles" and "large-capacity magazines," arguing it is a violation of the Second Amendment. SAF is among the groups challenging these laws through three consolidated lawsuits known as Graham v. Jennings and Gray v. Jennings, with SAF filing its own appeal brief earlier this month.

In the amicus brief, the attorneys general point out that the Second Amendment serves as a reminder that the right to bear arms predates state governments, extending to all "bearable arms," including those used for offense or defense in case of conflict.

Knudsen's office released a statement in which the coalition argues that two Delaware bills violate the Second Amendment, by banning 44 semi-automatic "assault long guns," 19 semi-automatic "assault pistols," and copycat weapons, as well as any magazines that can hold more than 17 rounds of ammunition.

The brief from the attorneys general argues that while the Delaware laws were probably motivated by concerns over the rise in mass shootings, they contradict the country's historical tradition of regulating dangerous and unusual weapons, and therefore should be reversed.

Interestingly, this legal challenge is happening in Delaware, President Joe Biden's home state. These cases were filed in January.

Last year, a group of 25 attorneys general supported a lawsuit by SAF and other groups challenging Maryland's "assault weapon" ban, and the Supreme Court agreed to hear the case, overturning a lower court's decision and directing further action in line with the guidelines laid out in the Bruen case.

Attorney General Knudsen has been active in gathering AG coalitions to challenge gun control laws, with all the attorneys general involved being Republicans.

A release from Knudsen's office references the precedents set by District of Columbia v. Heller (2008) and New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc. v. Bruen (2022), pointing out that the courts must decide whether modern firearm regulations align with the Second Amendment's historical understanding. The release argues that Delaware's regulations do not align with the country's tradition of firearm regulation and that none of the historical state regulations cited by one of Delaware's experts in the case imposed a total ban on the weapons now prohibited.

In a prepared statement, SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb argued that Delaware's laws, which ban the most popular rifle in the country and the standard-capacity magazines provided by manufacturers in most other states, have effectively criminalized the ownership of these items, potentially jeopardizing acts of self-defense.

Various other plaintiffs in the SAF cases include the Firearms Policy Coalition, DJJAMS LLC, and individual citizens Owen Stevens and Christopher Graham, William Taylor, and Gabriel Gray. The third case involves plaintiffs like the Delaware State Sportsmen's Association, Bridgeville Rifle & Pistol Club, Delaware Rifle and Pistol Club, Delaware Association of Federal Firearms Licensees, and several private citizens.

Gun Coyote - The Gun Deals Search Engine

No comments:

Post a Comment