JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - In an effort to defend the Second Amendment, Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey and 18 other state attorneys general filed amicus briefs in federal court supporting Americans’ right to keep and bear arms and the right of places of worship to determine their own policies related to firearms. Both cases concern New York’s unconstitutional law making it a felony to possess a firearm in “sensitive places,” which it defines to include “any place of worship or religious observation.”
“As Attorney General, I will protect the Constitution and defend the fundamental right of all Missourians to bear arms,” said Attorney General Bailey. “The Founders of this nation understood that the Bill of Rights was a floor, not a ceiling, and that those rights were granted to us by God, not man. Our office will continue to lead the way in defense of the Second Amendment.”
The Hardaway v. Nigrelli case involves Reverend Dr. Jimmie Hardaway, Jr. and Bishop Larry A. Boyd. Hardaway and Boyd, who are leaders of their respective churches, seek to prevent the enforcement of New York’s new law that makes it a felony to carry firearms at all places of worship and religious observation.
The Spencer v. Nigrelli case involves Pastor Micheal Spencer, pastor at His Tabernacle Family Church, who believes he has “a moral and religious duty to protect the safety of those who enter the Church” and therefore has allowed security volunteers and other churchgoers with licenses to carry firearms on church campuses.
Both cases claim New York’s place-of-worship restriction is unconstitutional under the Second and Fourteenth Amendments.
Last summer in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen, the United States Supreme Court held that the Second and Fourteenth Amendments protect an individual’s right to carry a handgun in public for self-defense, and the government must show that any restriction that it imposes must be consistent with this nation’s historical tradition of firearm regulation. Both amicus briefs argue that New York fails to show that its place-of worship restriction is part of that enduring historical tradition.
In addition to General Bailey, the attorneys general from the states of Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, West Virginia, and Wyoming joined the brief.
Read the Hardaway v. Nigrelli amicus brief here: https://ago.mo.gov/docs/default-source/press-releases/hardaway-v-nigrelli.pdf?sfvrsn=9bb45d01_2
Read the Spencer v. Nigrelli amicus brief here: https://ago.mo.gov/docs/default-source/press-releases/spencer-v-nigrelli.pdf?sfvrsn=d8e5d833_2
Attorney General Bailey has been actively fighting the targeting of Missourians’ Second Amendment rights. He recently filed a lawsuit against the Biden administration’s unlawful pistol brace rule. He is also defending the Second Amendment Preservation Act in court.