Attorney General Fox Stands Up for Second Amendment Rights of Montanans

Attorney General Tim Fox announced today that Montana joined with 21 other states in urging the Second Circuit to review the constitutionality of a New York statute that limits an individual’s Second Amendment right to bear arms.

The lawsuit, Nojay v. Cuomo, challenges New York’s Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act, (“the Act”) which prohibits its citizens from possessing and carrying semiautomatic firearms for lawful purposes. “Semiautomatic firearms are perhaps the most commonly used firearm for self-defense,” Attorney General Tim Fox said. “Excluding an entire class of firearms from law abiding citizens limits their ability to lawfully protect themselves, their families, and their homes. It would also impact law-abiding sportsmen and shooting enthusiasts, because semi-automatic rifles, handguns, and shotguns would not be available for their use either.”

The Supreme Court of the United States struck down a District of Columbia law in 2008 that banned the private ownership of handguns. In District of Columbia v. Heller, the Court held that the Second Amendment protects a law-abiding individual’s right to keep and bear arms for self-defense.

In today’s friend-of-the-court brief, the states noted that New York’s decision to prevent law-abiding citizens from possessing an entire class of previously legal weapons is not only unconstitutional, but also puts them at risk. “Only criminals will have access to certain kinds of rifles, shotguns, and handguns,” the states wrote. “Any person who wishes to obtain firearms prohibited by the Act can merely cross state lines to obtain such a weapon, outgunning law-abiding citizens.”