SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH – Attorney General Sean D. Reyes joined an amicus brief, led by the States of Montana and Idaho, in a Second Amendment case in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
The matter in front of the court involves a challenge to a law passed by the Hawaii State Legislature in June 2023 that “prohibits the carry or possession of firearms” in designated places, including “bars and restaurants serving alcohol, banks and financial institutions, and adjacent parking areas.” A U.S. District Judge in Hawaii enjoined portions of the law, leading to the appeal to the Ninth Circuit.
In their brief, the coalition of attorneys general argues that “Hawaii fails to show that its sensitive-places restrictions align with this Nation’s historical tradition of firearm regulations,” focusing on the lack of these similar prohibitions in public parks and beaches, banks and financial institutions, and bars and restaurants serving alcohol during the late nineteenth century.
The States conclude by writing, “As Bruen explained, ‘when it comes to interpreting the Constitution, not all history is created equal.’ Rather, ‘[c]onstitutional rights are enshrined with the scope they were understood to have when the people adopted them.’ So evidence closer in time to the Second Amendment’s adoption is most relevant for understanding the Amendment’s scope. Of course, evidence of historical regulations through the end of the nineteenth century could be relevant, but only to the extent that it confirms what prior evidence ‘already…established.’”
Joining Utah, Montana, and Idaho were the States of Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Carolina, West Virginia, and Wyoming.