State Attorney Generals: Being Armed Not the Same as Being Dangerous

State Attorney Generals (AG) from Michigan, Texas, Utah, and West Virginia are asking the Supreme Court of the United States to review a 4th U.S. Circuit Court ruling and reaffirm that being armed is not the same thing as being dangerous.

The AGs — Bill Schuette (MI), Ken Paxton (TX), Sean D. Rayes (UT), and Patrick Morrisey (WV) — are convinced the 4th Circuit made a mistake in ruling that individuals who carry guns can constitutionally be searched, simply for having a gun.

According to the Associated Press, in January, the 4th Circuit ruled that “an officer who makes a lawful traffic stop and who has a reasonable suspicion that one of the automobile’s occupants is armed may frisk that individual for the officer’s protection and the safety of everyone on the scene.” Judge Paul Niemeyer wrote the majority opinion, saying, “The danger justifying a protective frisk arises from the combination of a forced police encounter and the presence of a weapon, not from any illegality of the weapon’s possession.”

AG Morrisey responded to the ruling, saying, “It is wrong to deem an individual dangerous solely because they are armed.” And AG Paxton contends the ruling “places a burden on the Second Amendment right to carry a firearm.”

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