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Everytown to Supreme Court: NRA Affiliate’s Case Rests on Distorted Telling of History


Everytown Brief: NRA’s Historical Interpretation ‘Selective, Skewed, And Incorrect’; New York Law Constitutional Under an Originalist Approach

New York – Everytown for Gun Safety, the nation’s largest gun violence prevention organization, today filed an amicus brief in the U. S. Supreme Court in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen, a case challenging the constitutionality under the Second Amendment of a New York law regulating the concealed carry of firearms in public. Everytown’s brief explains the constitutionality of the law by:

  • Rebutting key parts of the NRA’s historical argument;
  • Showing that the public carry of firearms, including concealed carry, has been regulated in the U.S. for centuries; and
  • Demonstrating that gun safety measures like New York’s law “enjoy an almost singularly impressive historical lineage among firearms regulations.”

“In this latest attempt to force their dangerous views on the Second Amendment on the rest of the country, opponents of strong gun laws are relying on a distorted telling of history,” said Eric Tirschwell, executive director of Everytown Law, the litigation team affiliated with Everytown for Gun Safety. “The last time this NRA affiliate argued before the Supreme Court, just two years ago, it was unsuccessful in advancing its extreme and dangerous position. While the court’s makeup has changed since then, the Second Amendment has not. As communities across the country grapple with increased gun violence, it’s particularly important that the high court get this case right, too.” 

Everytown Law is representing Everytown for Gun Safety in this matter along with the law firm Gupta Wessler PLLC. The Everytown Law attorneys on the brief are Eric Tirschwell, Janet Carter, William Taylor, Lisa Ebersole, and Carina Bentata. 

Key quotes from the brief:

“Public-carry laws like the one at issue here enjoy an almost singularly impressive historical lineage among firearms regulations.”

“Here…not only is there a long tradition of regulating public carry, but even the uncontested history is longstanding: The petitioners do not dispute that dozens of states and cities from the mid-19th-century to the early-20th century enacted laws that were at least as restrictive -4- as New York’s law. When this unrebutted history is added to the long tradition of public-carry regulations, there can be no doubt that New York’s law is constitutional.”

“To set aside the body of historical evidence in this case, while claiming the mantle of originalism, would only serve to diminish it—reducing the methodology to little more than an exercise in picking out one’s friends in a crowd of historical sources.”