CHARLESTON — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey has joined a 21-state coalition in supporting the right of citizens to keep and bear arms.
The coalition urges the U.S. Supreme Court to clarify that state laws cannot prevent a law-abiding citizen from carrying a firearm outside of his or her home. The coalition’s brief, filed Nov. 18, argues the passage of such a law violates the Second Amendment.
“We must protect the right to self-defense both inside and outside of one’s home,” Morrisey said. “The Second Amendment does not discriminate between the two. We urge the court to stand firm in protecting the right to bear arms as a fundamental right and one that extends beyond the home.”
The case challenges a Maryland law that the coalition says limits the right of typical, law-abiding citizens to carry a handgun outside of the home.
Morrisey and the other AGs signing the brief argue Maryland’s law reduces that fundamental right to a privilege – one the state grants only to a citizen who can demonstrate he or she is in a situation dire enough to warrant carrying a handgun.
The coalition contends its states have the same interest in public safety, but are able to protect their citizens without extinguishing constitutional rights.
The friend of the court brief argues that by agreeing to hear oral arguments in the case, the Supreme Court can provide much-needed guidance to lower courts, where a pronounced split in philosophy exists regarding application of the Second Amendment.
West Virginia joined the Alabama-led brief with Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas and Utah.
U.S. Supreme Court case number 19-423