News Releases

Rutledge: ‘Second Amendment Must be Applied Equally’


May 6, 2015

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge has joined a bipartisan group of attorneys general from 20 other states in an amicus brief led by the State of Alabama to the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals urging the court to strike down a San Diego County law restricting the issuance of concealed carry permits.

“The Second Amendment must be applied equally,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “This law, from a municipality in California, weakens the Second Amendment and infringes upon the right of law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms. Self-defense is a fundamental human right that must be protected. This misguided law from San Diego County cannot stand, and I am proud to join 20 of my colleagues from across the nation to ask the Ninth Circuit to put a stop to this serious encroachment.”

In the court filing, Rutledge and other attorneys general said the Constitution clearly allows U.S. citizens to exercise their Second Amendment rights to bear arms for lawful purposes, including for self-defense, both inside and outside the home. The San Diego County law, stemming from the Peruta v. County of San Diego case, treats bearing arms in self-defense as “not a right, but a privilege,” which must be determined by the county if the local government deems a person in a specific danger or documented threat.

The brief, which was filed Thursday, points out that the California law applies the Second Amendment unequally by allowing some to receive concealed carry permits while others are not allowed. For instance, a business or occupation that places an individual in a dangerous location would allow for a permit, but not those who live in an area that would put them at “high risk” of harm. Consequently, the attorneys general argue the San Diego County licensing scheme is unreasonable and unconstitutional.

In addition to Alabama and Arkansas, other states that joined the brief were: Alaska, Florida, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

A copy of the brief can be accessed here.

Contact Us
Sign Up For Attorney General Alerts