The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments Wednesday in the case of New York State Rifle and Pistol Association (NYSRPA) v. Bruen, and if the questioning by the justices are any indication, New York state’s restrictive concealed carry law will go down in flames.
And it’ll take similar laws in seven other states down with it.
At issue is New York’s requirement that concealed carry applicants must show a special need to carry a concealed weapon before the state will issue a permit.
New York and similar jurisdictions requiring a showing of cause are referred to as “may issue” states. The majority of states are “shall issue” jurisdictions, where applicants are only limited by age, criminal history, mental health issues and usually proof of training.
Chief Justice John Roberts, whose decisions have disappointed conservatives at numerous times and on numerous issues, appeared ready to strike down the New York statute.
New York Solicitor General Barbara Underwood argued that while citizens have the right of self-defense, safety concerns in high-density urban areas should prevail against the carrying of firearms.
Roberts shot back that the need for self-protection is actually greater in high-crime urban areas. “How many muggings take place in the forest?” he asked.
Roberts also questioned Brian Fletcher, a deputy United States solicitor general, who argued in support of New York on behalf of the Biden administration.
Roberts told Fletcher that when considering constitutional rights, the Constitution “gives you that right, and if someone’s going to take it away from you, they have to justify it” — they have to show why that right should be removed.
Accordingly, Roberts wondered why New York should require its citizens to demonstrate a need to exercise a constitutionally-guaranteed right.
Even CNN, which has been on a crusade for more restrictive gun control measures in recent years, sounded ready to throw in the towel, stating, “Supreme Court seems poised to expand Second Amendment rights and strike down NY handgun law.”
It reported that in addition to Roberts and Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito, “President Donald Trump’s three appointees, Justice Neil Gorsuch, Amy Coney Barrett and Brett Kavanaugh were concerned about the high bar necessary to obtain a permit” in New York.”
The National Rifle Association (NRA) and the NYSRPA issued statements this week condemning “may issue” statutes like that in New York.
Wayne LaPierre, NRA executive vice president, thought the timing of the case was ideal, coming during this era if civil unrest.
“Police officers are being forced off their jobs,” he said. “Headlines remind us of sharp declines in criminal prosecutions. Americans live in an increasingly dangerous world. That’s why it’s vital for any law-abiding New Yorker who wishes to protect themselves and their families, outside their home, not be held hostage to the whim of any local official. That is the essence of this case.”
Jason Ouimet, executive director of the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA), observed that “may issue” concealed carry restrictions only target law-abiding citizens.
“Under current New York law, a law-abiding resident becomes a felon the moment he or she steps outside their home with their firearm,” he said. “This is a clear infringement of the Second Amendment.
The NRA is grateful that the Supreme Court is tackling this critical issue. We are proud to be a part of this case, and we look forward to a future in which law-abiding Americans everywhere have the fundamental right to self-defense the way the Constitution intended.”
Tom King, president of the NYSRPA, which filed the lawsuit on behalf of applicants who were denied concealed carry permits, thought it was about time that New York join the other 42 states that protect Second Amendment rights.
“It’s high time the Empire State to go after violent criminals instead of depriving its citizens’ of their basic Constitutional rights,” he said. “The NYSRPA is proud to take the state to task on this egregious overstep, and we’re thankful to the NRA for their invaluable help and support in bringing this case to the highest court in the land. We look forward to the court’s opinion next year.”
Other “may issue” states that require a showing of need before a license may be granted are California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, and New Jersey.
It all comes down to the protection of life. It’s probably no accident that of the God-given, unalienable, and natural rights listed in the Declaration of Independence — "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” — that "life" is mentioned first.
The court is expected to deliver its decision in the summer.
Accordingly, next year the Supreme Court of the United States will rule in NYSRPA v. Bruen that the protection of it is a constitutionally-guaranteed right. Guaranteed.
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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