Eight Attorneys General to SCOTUS: Second Amendment Protects Suppressors Too

DENVER, CO - JANUARY 9: Second Amendment activist Joseph Gabriele of Littleton, Colorado gathers with other activists in support of gun ownership on January 9, 2013 at the Colorado State Capitol in Denver, Colorado. Lawmakers are calling for tougher gun legislation after recent mass shootings at an Aurora, Colorado movie …
Marc Piscotty/Getty

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schimdt led seven other Attorneys General in an amicus brief to the Supreme Court of the United States contending that the Second Amendment protects suppressors too.

The seven other AGs represent the states of Arkansas, Idaho, Louisiana, Montana, South Carolina, Texas, and Utah. They are asking SCOTUS to review a United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit decision that held that firearm accessories fall outside the scope of Second Amendment protections.

The Tenth Circuit specifically ruled that Jeremy Kettler could not be granted relief for being trapped between federal law and Kansas law regarding possession of an unregistered firearm suppressor. They reached their finding, in part, by ruling that suppressors are not protected under District of Columbia v. Heller (2008) because they are not “bearable.”

The Tenth Circuit explained: ” A silencer is a firearm accessory; it’s not a weapon in itself (nor is it ‘armour of defence’). Accordingly, it can’t be a ‘bearable arm’ protected by the Second Amendment.”

The AGs are asking SCOTUS to reverse that ruling. Their amicus brief states:

[The undersigned AGs] have a strong interest in protecting their citizens’ Second Amendment rights to keep and bear arms. Indeed, the lawful use of firearms—including for hunting or recreational shooting—is a venerable tradition in many amici States. This is especially true in Kansas, where its citizens recently and overwhelmingly voted to amend the State’s Constitution to reaffirm that an individual “has the right to keep and bear arms for the defense of self, family, home and state, for lawful hunting and recreational use, and for any other lawful purpose,” Kan. Const. Bill of Rights, § 4, and the right to “hunt . . . by the use of traditional methods,” id. § 21. The Tenth Circuit’s unsupported conclusion that firearm accessories are categorically excluded from Second Amendment protection threatens amici’s citizens’ right to enjoy these time-honored pursuits.

The AGs argue:

In holding that firearms accessories are categorically excluded from the Second Amendment’s protections, the Tenth Circuit improperly narrowed the scope of that important amendment in conflict with the decisions of this Court and other circuits. This Court’s review is needed to affirm that the “Arms” protected by the Second Amendment include items such as silencers and other firearms accessories.

SCOTUS has yet to decide whether to review the Tenth Circuit ruling. A decision on whether to hear the case is expected in the coming months.

The case is Kettler v. United States, No. 18-936.  Supreme Court of the United States.

AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkins, a weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at awrhawkins@breitbart.com. Sign up to get Down Range at breitbart.com/downrange.



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