Attorney General Wilson and coalition of 24 states urge Supreme Court to uphold Second Amendment

June 1, 2021

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – June 1, 2021 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson has joined a coalition of 24 states to uphold the Second Amendment at the U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS). The coalition is urging SCOTUS to review a New Jersey law that limits magazine capacities.

“We’ve sworn to uphold the Constitution and the Second Amendment’s right to bear arms protects every man, woman, and child’s life and liberty every day,” Attorney General Wilson said. “We’re opposing a New Jersey law that would ban something you would find right now in millions of homes across the country.”

The coalition argues that 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 South Carolina, 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. The coalition is urging SCOTUS to grant certiorari in the case and reverse the Third Circuit’s misguided decision.

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

Copy of the coalition’s filing here.