State joins amicus brief against NYC ban on guns

Alaska has joined 22 other states in an amicus brief filed by the state of Louisiana on urging the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down as unconstitutional New York City’s ban on transporting licensed, locked and unloaded handguns to a home or shooting range outside city limits.

“The more we allow these types of bans around the nation, the more it restricts the rights of every American,” said Alaska Attorney General Kevin Clarkson. “The governor and I both feel strongly that we need to defend Alaskans’ right to bear arms from these types of unconstitutional bans – we don’t want this type of ban to cascade like falling dominoes and infringe on Alaskans’ rights.”

Clarkson’s office said, in response to a query from The Cordova Times, that there are no additional costs or additional work for his department beyond the initial review of the request to join.

“The department receives requests such as this on a regular basis, and each one is reviewed by the department, followed by a decision by the Attorney General as to whether we will join or not, said Cori Mills, assistant attorney general.  “The amount of time a review takes can vary by the subject matter and complexity of the case—1-6 hours of attorney review time is a rough estimate. There are some amicus brief requests that do require additional work after a decision has been made, such as providing Alaska-specific information to the brief. These efforts require more resources.”

“The second Amendment is an integral and explicit part of the U.S. Constitution, and New York City’s gun ban clearly violates Americans’ constitutional rights,” said Gov. Mike Dunleavy.

The amicus brief in the case filed by Louisiana on May 14 also asserts that the ban violates the Commerce Clause and right to travel under the Constitution.The ban was upheld by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals and plaintiffs in the case petitioned to the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse the court of appeals decision. Other states joining Alaska and Louisiana are Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and West Virginia.  The case is to be decided in next year’s term.