Cruz and 24 Senate Republicans file amicus brief defending Second Amendment right to carry

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EXCLUSIVE: Sen. Ted Cruz and two dozen Senate Republicans, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, filed an amicus brief Tuesday in a Second Amendment case the Supreme Court is set to hear this fall, arguing that New York gun law violates the right to bear arms under the Constitution. 

Cruz and his GOP colleagues filed a brief in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen, which the Supreme Court granted cert for in April. 

The high court, in its October 2021 term, is set to consider whether the Second Amendment allows the government to prohibit ordinary law-abiding citizens from carrying handguns outside the home for self-defense. 

New York law prohibits carrying a firearm outside the home without a license and then makes it extremely difficult to get a license. New York requires people to show cause why they should get a license.

The Republican senators argued that the New York law violates the right to bear arms under the Second Amendment, arguing that the point of including this right in the Constitution was so that the decision would be taken out of the hands of state and federal legislators. 

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, listens during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the nomination of Samantha Power to be the next Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Tuesday, March 23, 2021 on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Greg Nash/Pool via AP)

“Legislators—whether in Albany or Washington D.C.—have neither the power nor the authority to second-guess the policy judgments made by the Framers and enshrined in the Constitution,” Cruz and his Republican colleagues wrote in the amicus brief.

“Firearms policy can be complex, and members of Congress, like state and local officials, may disagree vehemently,” they wrote. “But elected officials swear to support and defend the Constitution and so much respect when the Framers took a decision out of their hands. 

“The Second Amendment’s guarantee of the right to keep and bear arms cannot be second-guessed by legislators across the country who simply disagree with the choice the Framers made,” they wrote. 

Cruz and McConnell were joined by GOP Sens. John Barrasso, Marsha Blackburn, John Boozman, Mike Braun, John Cornyn, Tom Cotton, Kevin Cramer, Mike Crapo, Steve Daines, Josh Hawley, John Hoeven, Cindy Hyde-Smith, Jim Inhofe, Ron Johnson, James Lankford, Mike Lee, Cynthia Lummis, Roger Marshall, Jerry Moran, Jim Risch, Marco Rubio, Rick Scott, and Thom Tillis in their brief. 

New York is among eight states that limit who has the right to carry a weapon in public. The others are: California, Delaware, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Rhode Island.

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