AUSTIN – On Feb. 21, Attorney General Ken Paxton announced that Texas joined an Alabama-led 26-state coalition in filing an amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court.
The amicus states are challenging the constitutionality of a San Diego County, Cali. gun restriction that violates an individual’s Second Amendment right to bear arms for self-defense outside of their home, according to a press release.
The California statute largely prohibits open carry, but it allows sheriffs to issue permits for “good cause.” The San Diego Sheriff’s policy on “good cause” prevents ordinary citizens from obtaining a license to carry.
Five individuals from San Diego County and the California Rifle and Pistol Association Foundation brought the original lawsuit against the sheriff, claiming his restrictive interpretation of “good cause” infringed their Second Amendment rights.
A panel of the 9th Circuit concluded that the county could not deprive citizens of the ability to obtain concealed-carry licenses when California law prohibits open carry. However, an en banc panel of the court later reached a divided decision that the sheriff’s policy could stand. It claimed citizens have no specific constitutional right to concealed carry.
“The Constitution plainly guarantees law-abiding citizens the right to bear arms outside of the home for self-defense, whether through open or concealed carrying. That right must be vigilantly protected,” Paxton said. “I’m proud to work with attorneys general from across the nation in the fight to preserve Americans’ right to security and self-defense.”
States joining Texas in the Alabama-led amicus brief are Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.