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.
"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.
New Jersey's concealed carry law says that gun owners must prove a "justifiable need" for a concealed-carry permit. The lawsuit alleges that this "justifiable need" provisions is too restrictive and violates lawful gun owners' 2nd Amendment rights.
Chris Cox, head of the NRA's Institute for Legislative Action, told the Star-Ledger:
“New Jersey law unconstitutionally forces lawful gun owners to prove ‘justifiable need’ in order to carry a handgun for self-defense, showing specific threats, or prior attacks. This is absurd," Cox said. "Our fundamental, individual right to keep and bear arms is not limited to the home."