Ohio one of states to help challenge New Jersey gun law

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Wyoming is leading a coalition of
19 states asking the U.S. Supreme Court to let them submit a brief
supporting a New Jersey man’s challenge to that state’s concealed
weapons law.
The Wyoming Attorney General’s Office, acting as
lawyer for Wyoming and the other states, on Wednesday asked the Supreme
Court to grant a hearing to John M. Drake and others who are challenging
a recent appeals court ruling.
A three-judge panel of the 3rd
U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals last summer ruled against Drake’s
challenge to a provision in New Jersey law that says people seeking
permits to carry a concealed firearm must prove to police that they have
a justifiable need.
The brief from Wyoming Attorney General’s
Office says that Wyoming and the other states are concerned that if the
appeals court ruling stands, it could threaten their less-restrictive
concealed carry laws.
"This decision out of New Jersey impacts the
right to keep and bear arms outside of the home," Wyoming Gov. Matt
Mead said Wednesday. "So, I felt it was necessary to have the attorney
general support a petition to the Supreme Court to hear this case.
"If
the current decision stands, states providing greater protections than
New Jersey under the Second Amendment may be pre-empted by future
federal action," said Mead, a Republican.
Wyoming is among the
most pro-gun states in the nation. Although Wyoming still issues
concealed carry permits to its citizens, the state in 2011 changed its
laws to allow concealed carry without a permit.
Mead and other
statewide officials this month approved $13 million in grants to help a
Colorado producer of ammunition magazines for guns move its
manufacturing operations to Wyoming. Magpul Industries of Erie, Colo.,
pledged to move out of Colorado after lawmakers in that state enacted
gun control measures last year.
The Star-Ledger, a New Jersey
newspaper, reported Wednesday that Drake, of Fredon, N.J., is a business
owner who owns and services ATMs. He told the paper he sometimes
carries large amounts of cash.
"It seems unreasonable to me to have to wait until you’re beaten up or shot at to get a
permit," Drake said told the newspaper.
The National Rifle Association also is supporting Drake’s legal challenge.
The
Star-Ledger quoted Chris W. Cox, executive director of the NRA’s
Institute for Legislative Action, saying, "Law-abiding citizens have a
constitutional right to defend themselves beyond their front doorstep."
The
other states joining in the effort are Alabama, Alaska, Arizona,
Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan,
Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South
Dakota and West Virginia.
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