Montana and Other States Join Fight against New York’s Overreaching Gun Restrictions

Attorney General Tim Fox today joined with 16 other states in opposing New York City’s restrictions handguns kept for self-defense.

New York City requires a costly and restrictive “premises permit” to own a personal handgun for self-defense. The permit prohibits taking the weapon outside the home for any purpose other than to practice at one of the New York City shooting ranges and entirely prohibits leaving the state with the weapon. The costly “carry” permit is required to remove the weapon from the home for other purposes and is difficult to obtain.

“New York’s restrictive gun laws violate the Second Amendment and deny law-abiding citizens the right to defend themselves,” Attorney General Tim Fox said. “We urge the Supreme Court to review this case, provide clear guidance on the scope of the Second Amendment, and confirm that exercising the right of self-defense is not just limited to the home.”

The states argue that while city and state governments have an interest in public safety and crime prevention, New York City offered no evidence that demonstrated its regulations actually enhance public safety and crime prevention. In fact, its restrictive scheme has the opposite effect by arbitrarily limiting a gun owner’s ability to become proficient with their own weapon, requiring thousands of people to buy additional weapons and causing thousands of weapons to be left in unoccupied houses.

The states’ brief also points out the significant economic impact of hunting and shooting sports: “New York’s regulatory scheme discriminates against interstate commerce because it ‘deprives out-of-state businesses of access to a local market’ by forbidding its citizens from hunting and patronizing ranges outside the State with their own guns.”

The multi-state amicus brief is available online: https://dojmt.gov/wp-content/uploads/18-280-Amici-Brief.pdf.