Supreme Court to decide if Second Amendment protects concealed carry

by WorldTribune Staff, April 26, 2021

In a major gun rights case, the Supreme Court on Monday announced it will decide whether citizens can be legally prohibited from carrying concealed handguns for self-defense outside their homes.

U.S. Supreme Court / Wikimedia Commons

While most states provide permits to all qualified applicants, some claim the authority to require citizens to prove special circumstances to qualify for a permit, such as having an abusive ex-spouse.

New York has such restrictions.

The case the Supreme Court decided to take up, brought by the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, challenges a New York law that prohibits citizens from carrying a gun outside their home without a license. The state makes it difficult to obtain such a license, the lawsuit says.

“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 high court said in an order.

New York requires license applicants to show that “proper cause exists” for a person to have one. The Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in August that the law is constitutional.

New York is among eight states that limit who has the right to carry a weapon in public. The others are: California, Delaware, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Rhode Island.

Paul Clement, representing challengers to New York’s permit law, said the Supreme Court should use the case to settle the issue once and for all.

“Thus, the nation is split, with the Second Amendment alive and well in the vast middle of the nation, and those same rights disregarded near the coasts,” Clement wrote on behalf of the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association and two New York residents.

In its 2008 landmark decision District of Columbia v. Heller, the court held that the Second Amendment guarantees the right of private citizens to “keep and bear arms.” In its 2010 follow-up case, McDonald v. City of Chicago, the court held that the right to bear arms applies against state and local governments the same way it does the federal government.

“The court rarely takes Second Amendment cases. Now it’s decided to hear one of the most critical Second Amendment issues,” NRA Institute for Legislative Action executive director Jason Ouimet said in a statement. “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.”

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