Supreme Court to consider major gun rights case this week

By Casey Harper | The Center Square

The U.S. Supreme court will hear oral arguments in a major gun rights case this week that could have significant implications for Second Amendment rights nationwide.

The high court will hear arguments Wednesday in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen, a case involving New York state’s strict laws around carrying firearms. Several states have joined the case in defense of Second Amendment rights.

In the case in question, Robert Nash and Brandon Koch applied to receive concealed carry licenses, but their request was denied.

Under the New York law, state officials say concealed carry permits may only be granted when the applicants establish “proper cause” beyond a “nonspeculative need for self-defense.” According to officials, the men did not meet that threshold.

“Absent such a need, applicants may receive a ‘premises’ license that allows them to keep a firearm in their home or place of business, or a ‘restricted’ license that allows them to carry in public for any other purposes for which they have shown a non-speculative need – such as hunting, target shooting, or employment,” the states’ defense wrote. “The individual petitioners here received restricted licenses.”

Nash pointed to several robberies near his home in an appeal to the denial. A New York affiliate of the National Rifle Association has partnered with the two gun owners to file their legal challenge, which is now before the Supreme Court.

They argue New York residents should be allowed to carry a weapon without being forced to meet the state’s high and arbitrary standard.

“A law that flatly prohibits ordinary law-abiding citizens from carrying a handgun for self-defense outside the home cannot be reconciled with the Court’s affirmation of the individual right to possess and carry weapons in case of confrontation,” the challengers said in their filing. “The Second Amendment does not exist to protect only the rights of the happy few who distinguish themselves from the body of ‘the people’ through some ‘proper cause.’ To the contrary, the Second Amendment exists to protect the rights of all the people.”

District of Columbia v. Heller, a landmark gun rights case in 2008 that discussed “the individual right to possess and carry weapons in case of confrontation,” was a major win for Second Amendment advocates. The court’s affirmation of that right to self-defense paved the way for citizens to push for having guns in the home even when local governments forbid it.

The Heller case addressed “prohibition on the possession of usable handguns in the home” and decided that such a prohibition was not constitutional.

Now, the court will consider how that right to carry a weapon for self-defense continues outside the home.

“New York prohibits its ordinary law-abiding citizens from carrying a handgun outside the home without a license, and it denies licenses to every citizen who fails to convince the state that he or she has ‘proper cause’ to carry a firearm,” the challengers wrote in a court filing.

The Heller case could become the crux of the legal challenge.

“It is enough to note, as we have observed, that the American people have considered the handgun to be the quintessential self-defense weapon,” the late Associate Justice Antonin Scalia wrote in the Heller opinion. “Handguns are the most popular weapon chosen by Americans for self-defense in the home, and a complete prohibition of their use is invalid.”

Several states have weighed in on the case, filing a joint brief in defense of Second Amendment rights. Those states include Arizona, Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, and West Virginia.

“Citizens that receive permits are significantly more law-abiding than the public at large, and studies link objective-issue regimes with decreased murder rates and no rise in other violent crimes,” the brief reads. “Public safety is also increased at the individual level when citizens carry for self defense and respond to a criminal attack with a firearm; these defensive gun uses leave the intended victim unharmed more frequently than any other option and almost never require firing a shot.”

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/Ratha Grimes

3 thoughts on “Supreme Court to consider major gun rights case this week

  1. It needs to be better revealed that the origin of many of the gun restriction laws in the US
    are based on RACISM, and were specifically meant to keep African Americans unarmed and
    vulnerable. Keeping African Americans vulnerable has been a cornerstone policy of the democrat party
    since before the Civil War. Virginia’s upcoming Lt. Gov. Winsome has prevailed because she was able to credibly convince the Black voters of how they have been chronically taken advantage of by democrats. She is a solid supporter of gun rights.
    As far as gun rights and the Supreme Court, we can all thank Pres. Trump for the Justices he nominated and the fact that Merrick Garland does not currently taint it’s sacred bench.

  2. May he regret ever saying, “they cling to their guns and religion……”

    God speed to those in the court system. Just think if the Southside of Chicago had an armed and trained citizenry, they might not have 28 murders in a week end! You might have a polite society.

    Bible study, Rebuilding Families, school choice and an armed citizenry and suddenly there would be some hope in that town.

    Our country was founded on the freedom to break away from a corrupt society, a corrupted Church of England, it was exactly scripture and self defense that founded this nation, that set us apart. TGBTG

  3. The 2 nd. amendment wording “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” ,when it says To Keep and Bear is very clear, to bear aka carry. Of course also very clear is the 2 nd.expressly prohibits both local and federal governments from any and all legislation infringing upon it,so much for that prohibition as tyrants have heavily infringed it.

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