The Supreme Court recently announced that next term they will take up a major, National Rifle Association (NRA)-backed lawsuit concerning a New York law that restricts a person from carrying a concealed handgun in public for self-defense. New York is currently among eight states that limit who has the right to carry a weapon in public. The lawsuit is a core gun rights issue regarding what a citizen’s Second Amendment rights are when they leave their homes.
The Supreme Court recently granted review in a constitutional challenge to New York’s permit requirements. While most states provide permits to all law-abiding applicants, a few states claim that a citizen must prove “special circumstances” to qualify for a permit, such as having an abusive family member or working in the field of law and protecting oneself from criminal retaliation. Even if you’ve gone through all of the required training and are a legal gun owner, the authority can reject a permit on whatever basis they want.
Second Amendment supporters argue that the Constitution entitles them to carry permits for general self-defense, without any special circumstances. “The petition for a writ of certiorari is granted limited to the following question: Whether the State’s denial of petitioners’ applications for concealed-carry licenses for self-defense violated the Second Amendment,” the court said in an order.
The Supreme Court had turned down a review of the Second Amendment case involving the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association last June, before Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death. This will be the first analysis into gun rights since Justice Amy Coney Barrett came on board in October. She previously wrote a dissent that argued that a conviction from a nonviolent felony shouldn’t automatically disqualify someone from owning a gun. The Supreme Court will have a 6-3 conservative majority looking into the case.
Paul Clement, a representative challenging New York’s permit laws, said that the nation is split with the Second Amendment and that this case will settle the issue once and for all. The state, however, argues that the law promotes public safety, reduces crime, and neither bans people from carrying guns nor allows everyone to do so.
The NRA Institute for Legislative Action executive director Jason Ouimet pointed out that the court rarely takes Second Amendment cases and that it is deciding to hear one of the most critical Second Amendment issues yet.
“We’re confident that the court will tell New York and the other states that our Second Amendment right to defend ourselves is fundamental and doesn’t vanish when we leave our homes,” Ouimet said.
Last month, a San Francisco federal appeals court rejected a challenge to Hawaii’s permit regulations. “Our review of more than 700 years of English and American legal history reveals a strong theme: the government has the power to regulate arms in the public square,” wrote conservative Judge Jay Bybee in a 7-4 decision for the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals.
While the Biden Administration has not expressed a view on the case, it will likely get argued with the recent mass shootings, which were committed by individuals with concealed carry licenses. Violent crime is up and hundreds of thousands of law-abiding Americans want to seek a concealed carry license so they can lawfully protect themselves in public.
The radical left has been trying to ban modern sporting rifles, large capacity magazines, ammunition controls, and impose harsh background checks for quite some time. Now, they’re attempting to take away the general right of a citizen to carry a firearm for self-defense. The NY argument is that your rights end at your doorstep, but the Constitution argues otherwise.