The petitioners in New York State Rifle and Pistol Association (NYSRPA) v. Bruen filed its response brief on Thursday with the U.S. Supreme Court, which will be the final filing in the case before the court hears oral arguments on Wednesday, November 3.
This will be the first major Second Amendment case the high court will have heard in more than a decade. The court’s decision, expected in the summer of 2022, can affect the concealed carry laws in eight states plus the District of Columbia.
The issue is stated simply: "Whether the state of New York's denial of petitioners' applications for concealed-carry licenses for self-defense violated the Second Amendment."
The dispute arose in 2016 when New York state resident Robert Nash applied for a state-issued concealed carry permit in response to a series of neighborhood robberies.
Authorities denied his application for a failure to demonstrate a "special need" for self-defense, per the requirements of the Sullivan Act, a 1911 state statute.
The Second Amendment provides that "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."
In 2008, the Supreme Court homed in on the last half of the amendment’s phrasing to rule in D.C. v. Heller that the Second Amendment is an individual right and cannot be infringed except for cause such as tender age, criminal history or mental incapacity.
Two years later in McDonald v. City of Chicago, the court held that the personal right to possess a firearm applies to the states as well as to the federal government, by application of the 14th Amendment.
So the right to possess, or "keep" arms, is guaranteed to every U.S. citizen. But what about the right to carry — to "bear" arms? Shouldn’t that right apply as well?
NYSRPA president Tom King released a statement Thursday stating, in part, that "New York is arguing the entire Empire State is like a government building and should be a huge gun-free zone where only criminals and the privileged can bear arms."
And we’ve all seen what results when areas are designated as gun-free zones.
We witnessed that in a modern-day Sr. Valentine’s Day Massacre at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., when accused gunman Nikolas Cruz opened fire on February 14, 2018, killing 17, injuring another 17.
The only other person who was armed on campus that day was a school resource officer, who was there to specifically to protect students and employees from such attacks.
Yet he neglected to take any meaningful action other than notify his supervisors at the Broward County Sheriff’s Office.
Had one or more teachers, administrators, or maintenance employees been trained and armed, the day may have been far less tragic.
King’s statement continues, "The brief we filed today emphasizes the fundamental fact that the self-defense rights of law-abiding Americans do not vanish the moment a person steps outside their front door."
It all comes down to life. It’s probably no accident that "life" is mentioned first of the God-given, unalienable, and natural rights listed in the Declaration of Independence — "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."
All other rights depend first upon life for their existence.
You can neither enjoy liberty nor pursue happiness without possessing life.
All life forms will do whatever is necessary — run, hide, or fight — in order to survive.
All life is precious, and accordingly, the defense of life is paramount.
By extension, Bearing Arms editor Cam Edwards made a compelling argument Thursday that "Self-Defense Is A Human Right."
The defense of life is a human right, it’s a God-given inalienable right, and next year the Supreme Court of the United States will rule in NYSRPA v. Bruen that it’s a constitutional right.
Michael Dorstewitz is a retired lawyer and has been a frequent contributor to BizPac Review and Liberty Unyielding. He is also a former U.S. Merchant Marine officer and an enthusiastic Second Amendment supporter, who can often be found honing his skills at the range. Read Dorstewitz's Reports — More Here.
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