NEW YORK (NEWS10) – New York attorney general Letitia James, in coordination with 18 other attorneys general, is campaigning for states to have the right to protect their residents from gun violence. In an amicus letter in support of the Jones v Becerra defendants, Attorney General James argued in defense of two recent changes to California’s penal code that restrict the sale of long guns and semi-automatic center fire rifles to those under the age of 21.
The coalition also argues that states have the right to enact appropriate gun regulations that protect public safety and reduce gun violence.
“Gun violence in America remains a serious threat to all of us whether we live in New York, California or any other state,” said Attorney General James. “States have the right to take the necessary steps to protect their residents from armed violence. That is why we are taking these measures to stop another preventable tragedy. The last thing we have to do is make dangerous weapons more accessible to young people. This is about protecting our residents from more pain, more death and more gun violence. “
In the letter, the 18 attorneys general argue that laws restricting the sale of long guns and semi-automatic rifles to anyone under the age of 21, unless otherwise specified, are reasonable requirements that California is entitled to adopt because:
- The second change allows states to take new and varied measures in response to gun violence: The letter states that states may impose appropriate restrictions to protect the health, safety and well-being of their residents, including preventing crime and minimizing gun violence. All states have age-related regulations governing the sale, use and access to firearms within their borders.
- California has shown that its age-based regulations promote public safety and prevent gun violence: These regulations are not only in line with the regulations imposed by other federal states and the federal government in the past, but are also related to the state’s interest in promoting public safety and preventing armed violence, as can be seen from social science findings and the history of legislation and statistical analysis. The coalition argues that states have the right to innovate or change previous models of legislation to address difficult and evolving problems such as gun violence and mass shootings.
While plaintiffs in the lawsuit allege that California laws limit the rights of the Second Amendment for those ages 18-20, a lower court previously denied plaintiffs’ motion after determining that it was due their claims are unlikely to succeed.
Along with Attorney General James, attorneys general from Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and the United States a District of Columbia.