BELLEVUE, WA – Thirty-four members of Congress including Mississippi Senator Thad Cochran have signed onto an amicus curiae brief in the Second Amendment Foundation’s case of Drake v. Jerejian, which asks the U.S. Supreme Court to determine whether the Second Amendment secures the right to carry handguns outside the home for self-defense.
The case, which is joined by the Association of New Jersey Rifle & Pistol Clubs, also asks the high court to clarify the standard of review governing Second Amendment claims involving restrictions on the right of law-abiding adults to carry handguns outside the home. This case challenges New Jersey’s arbitrary requirement that carry permit applicants demonstrate a “justifiable need” to carry a handgun outside the home.
In addition to Sen. Cochran, 33 members of the U.S. House of Representatives including Rep. Lamar Smith, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, signed the brief.
“We’re gratified that so many elected officials on Capitol Hill took time to study this issue and add their names to our brief,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb. “The Supreme Court has already affirmed that the right to keep and bear arms applies to individual citizens, so it simply makes sense that this right extends beyond someone’s doorstep. A right limited to someone’s home unless a citizen can demonstrate some nebulous ‘justifiable need’ is not a right at all, but a heavily-regulated privilege.”
Representatives from several other states including Alaska, Arizona, California, Ohio, Texas, Louisiana, North and South Carolina, Missouri, Oklahoma, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Florida, Georgia, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, and Wyoming also signed.
“Many members of Congress are alarmed at the lower courts’ refusal to recognize citizens’ Second Amendment rights,” noted Sacramento, Calif., attorney Bradley Benbrook who wrote the brief. “Here the Third Circuit upheld a law banning citizens from carrying handguns unless they have already suffered attacks or had their life threatened, which means almost no one can qualify. We hope the Supreme Court responds to these members’ concerns.”