24-State Effort Seeks to Protect Ammo Magazine Purchases

June 12, 2021

WASHINGTON, D.C.— Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich and Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry are leading a coalition of 24 states to uphold the Second Amendment at the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS). Attorney General Brnovich is urging SCOTUS to review a New Jersey law that limits magazine capacities and requires gun owners to surrender certain magazines to law enforcement.

“New Jersey lawmakers are operating in total ignorance of our ability to protect ourselves and our families,” said Arizona Attorney General Brnovich. “We hope the Supreme Court will hear this case and reverse this misguided attempt to erode our rights.”

Attorney General Brnovich and the coalition argue New Jersey’s law criminalizes the mere possession of commonly-used arms even in the home for self-defense and therefore strikes at the core of the Second Amendment. Forty-three states, including Arizona, permit the standard capacity magazines that New Jersey’s law bans. Ammunition magazines that hold multiple rounds are standard equipment for many commonly used handguns designed for self-defense.

The right to bear arms is vital to millions of Americans. Those in high-crime areas where law enforcement is stretched thin value the right to own weapons for self-defense. Recently, the Ninth Circuit explained, “[o]ur country’s history has shown that communities of color have a particularly compelling interest in exercising their Second Amendment rights.” The same is true for women; guns can allow women to protect themselves more effectively against “abusers and assailants.”

A panel of the Third Circuit rebuffed the challenge in 2018, and the parties sought review from the full court, which denied review by an 8-6 vote. The case is now being appealed to SCOTUS. Attorney General Brnovich and the coalition are urging SCOTUS to grant certiorari in the case and reverse the Third Circuit’s misguided decision.

New Jersey’s outright ban on the Affected Magazines is inconsistent with the Second Amendment, and the Third Circuit erred by concluding otherwise.

This brief is led by Attorney General Mark Brnovich and Attorney General Jeff Landry. Joining them are the Attorneys General from Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

Copy of the coalition’s filing here.

CHARLESTON — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey has joined a 24-state coalition urging the U.S. Supreme Court to protect the rights of gun owners with regard to standard capacity magazines.

The coalition filed a recent brief urging the Supreme Court to review, and ultimately overturn, a federal appeals court ruling that would inappropriately permit states to outlaw ammunition magazines that are currently legal in more than half of the nation.

“The right to keep and bear arms is vital to West Virginians and law-abiding gun owners across the nation,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “Limiting ammunition magazines in such a manner flagrantly mocks the Second Amendment freedom that our nation’s founders gave all Americans to defend themselves and their property. Simply put, it could be a matter of life and death.”

The brief argues the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals was misguided in using an erroneous construction of the Constitution to permit New Jersey to ban magazines that typically hold 11 to 15 rounds, thus effectively compromising the Second Amendment rights of millions of citizens.

The coalition contends 43 states, including West Virginia, have advanced their interests in promoting public safety, preventing crime and reducing criminal firearm violence without a magazine ban.

The attorneys general argue no state law should intrude on its citizens’ constitutional rights and, if left intact, the New Jersey law could lead to similar measures infringing upon the Second Amendment rights of citizens elsewhere.

West Virginia joined the Arizona- and Louisiana-led brief with the attorneys general of Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and Wyoming. 

Read a copy of the brief at https://bit.ly/3iuqMk7.