The U.S. Supreme Court recently announced that it will hear a case challenging New York’s onerous carry restrictions on Nov. 3.
The case, New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc. v Bruen, is the first Second Amendment case regarding firearms that the High Court will hear in more than a decade.
It challenges New York’s requirement that residents applying for permits to exercise their Second Amendment rights demonstrate a “proper cause” to do so. This ambiguous, and ever-changing, barrier is often used by local licensing officials to deny applicants their constitutional rights, as licensed concealed carry is the only legal way for New Yorkers to carry firearms outside the home for self-defense.
New York’s regime is irreconcilable with the text, history, and tradition of the Second Amendment. The textual inquiry is not a close question, as the text guarantees a right to “bear” arms as well as “keep” them, and a right to bear arms only within the confines of a home offends both common sense and original public meaning. The historical inquiry is no closer, and has already been answered in Heller. Founding-era cases, commentaries, and laws on both sides of the Atlantic, most of which were surveyed in Heller, confirm that the founding generation understood the Second Amendment and its English predecessor to guarantee a right to carry arms for self-defense.
As New York is one of just eight “may-issue” states in the nation, meaning that our right to keep and bear arms may be denied on discretionary grounds, NRA-ILA explained that, “[f]or too long, New York has rationed the right to keep and bear arms to a select, chosen few within favored classes. But the Second Amendment guarantees the ‘right of the people to keep and bear arms,’ not the right of a privileged few.”
“The Court rarely takes Second Amendment cases. Now it’s decided to hear one of the most critical Second Amendment issues. 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,” said Jason Ouimet, executive director of NRA-ILA.
This nation’s highest court has not heard a Second Amendment case involving firearms since McDonald v. Chicago (2010), when it affirmed the Second Amendment is a fundamental right that also restricts state and local governments from infringing on this protection. Two years earlier, the Court held in District of Columbia v. Heller that the Second Amendment does, in fact, protect an individual right.
A1F.com will continue to keep you informed with up-to-date coverage, analysis and more as the date for this case to be heard draws nearer.