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Brady Urges Supreme Court to Reject Extreme Second Amendment Right to Decide Who Lives and Dies in Public Spaces

Brady has filed an amicus brief in the case New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc., v. Kevin P. Bruen

Washington, D.C., September 21, 2021 - Today, Brady has filed an amicus brief in the case New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc., et al., v. Kevin P. Bruen, urging the Supreme Court to reject gun lobby arguments for an unprecedented expansion of Second Amendment rights. Brady’s brief details the long history of U.S. courts, including the Supreme Court, upholding reasonable gun violence prevention laws that respect the Second Amendment but balance the right to bear arms with established, competing rights and interests, such as public safety and the individual right not to be unlawfully shot. Rukesh Korde, Jack Nelson, Alexander Ely and Ryan Roberts of Covington & Burling represent Brady, along with Jonathan Lowy and Christa Nicols of Brady.

Read Brady’s brief here.


Brady Chief Counsel Jonathan Lowy shared:

“To be clear, the gun lobby seeks a right not just to carry guns, but to shoot and potentially kill other people who are in public spaces in which they are entitled to be. But Americans have a right to live, and governments have the obligation and authority to protect public safety through strong gun laws. The arguments put forward by the gun lobby in this case threaten the safety of every American and would turn the Framers’ vision of a civil society on its head. The stakes could not be higher. A negative ruling could fundamentally change how courts interpret gun laws and public safety laws. This case is the result of a decades-long effort by the gun lobby to undo any and all common-sense laws that protect Americans from the threat of gun violence, wrapped in an ahistorical interpretation of the Second Amendment that would confound Framers and generations of American legal experts.

The court should reject that view in no uncertain terms. Make no mistake, Americans’ most fundamental right, the right to live, is at stake in this case, as is the most fundamental duty of government — to protect people. We cannot accept a future where the interests of extremist members of the gun lobby and the profits of the gun industry are put above the safety of our fellow citizens.”

About NYSRPA v. Bruen:

The Petitioners in this case: two individuals and the New York affiliate of the NRA — the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association (NYSRPA), are mounting another challenge to New York’s law requiring individuals to show “proper cause” to define the scope of a permit to carry a concealed handgun in public spaces. The Second Circuit Court of Appeals upheld this law following an identical challenge in 2012 and the majority of other federal Courts of Appeals found similar “good cause” restrictions consistent with the Second Amendment following the Supreme Court’s decision in District of Columbia v. Heller.

Although the Petitioners in this case mischaracterize the law as a complete ban on ordinary citizens carrying handguns for self-defense, the Petitioners were granted licenses to carry handguns for hunting, target shooting, and in unpopulated areas for self-defense. One of the Petitioner’s licenses also allowed him to carry a handgun for self-defense while commuting to and from work. The question presented to the Supreme Court is whether the denial of Petitioners' request for wholly unrestricted concealed-carry licenses for self-defense violated their Second Amendment rights.

Petitioners in this case are seeking a right not just to carry guns in public, but a right to carry guns for use in armed confrontation where any individual, trained or untrained in the lawful use of deadly force, becomes an arbiter of deadly violence alongside state authorities.

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Brady has one powerful mission — to unite all Americans against gun violence. We work across Congress, the courts, and our communities with over 90 grassroots chapters, bringing together young and old, red and blue, and every shade of color to find common ground in common sense. In the spirit of our namesakes Jim and Sarah Brady, we have fought for over 45 years to take action, not sides, and we will not stop until this epidemic ends. It’s in our hands.


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