NYSRPA v. Bruen
No. 20-843
United States Supreme Court

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Independent Women’s Law Center (IWLC) on Tuesday filed an amicus brief in support of New York State Rifle & Pistol Association. IWLC argues that the Second Amendment right to carry a firearm for purposes of self-defense outside the home particularly benefits women.

The Second Amendment guarantees to “the people” the right “to keep and bear arms.” The Supreme Court has twice held that the Second Amendment guarantees the right to keep a weapon for self-defense in the home. New York prohibits Americans from carrying a firearm outside the home, even for purposes of self-defense. Petitioners argue that, while the Second Amendment right to “keep arms” may have its greatest application in the home, the right to carry arms obviously extends outside the home. 

The Second Amendment protects the right to carry common arms like handguns for self-defense. New York’s efforts to restrict to a few the Second Amendment right the Constitution secures for all is invalid.

The right to carry weapons outside the home is especially important for individuals for whom a firearm is a great equalizer: women. Given their relative size, women are frequently at a self-defense disadvantage, and a firearm is one of the few ways women can level the field in a life-threatening confrontation. A firearm makes it possible for a woman to defend herself from an attacker physically more powerful.

Julie Gunlock, director of the Center for Progress & Innovation at Independent Women’s Forum, issued the following statement: “The Second Amendment protects the fundamental right of women to protect themselves and their families against physical threats that paper restraining orders and other government interventions may be powerless to prevent. This right is essential outside the home where women are often most vulnerable.”

Erin Hawley, senior legal fellow at Independent Women’s Law Center, said: “New York’s restrictive gun laws cannot be reconciled with the text of the Second Amendment—which guarantees to women as well as men the right to carry a firearm for purposes of self-defense.”

Read the brief HERE.