Leading a multistate coalition, Attorney General Ken Paxton today urged the U.S. Supreme Court to take up an important Second Amendment case challenging the constitutionality of a California law that bans the sale of many handguns commonly sold in Texas and other parts of the country to law-abiding California residents for self-defense.
In a friend-of-the-court brief, Attorney General Paxton wrote that appeals courts, lacking strong guidance from the Supreme Court, are undervaluing the Second Amendment and wrongly permitting governments at all levels to curtail the Second Amendment rights of individuals.
The California case is the most recent example. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit upheld California’s law, even though evidence showed no handgun currently sold in the U.S. can meet that state’s microstamping requirement. The court’s decision skirted the constitutional question of whether California’s law prevents residents from fully exercising the rights guaranteed by the Second Amendment.
“The time has come for courts to stop treating Second Amendment rights as second-rate rights,” Attorney General Paxton said. “By taking up the case challenging California’s handgun law, the U.S. Supreme Court can ultimately provide a clear road map for lower courts on how to decide cases concerning the right to keep and bear arms that provides proper protection for that right.”
In a previous ruling (Heller v. District of Columbia), the Supreme Court acknowledged that the Second Amendment protects the fundamental, individual right to keep and bear arms, and indicated that its future decisions would guide lower courts in the scope and application of the Second Amendment. But the high court has not decided a significant Second Amendment case since 2010.
Attorney General Paxton is joined on the friend-of-the-court brief by his counterparts from Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, West Virginia, and the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
Read a copy of the brief here.