The Supreme Court is facing what could be the most significant Second Amendment case since Heller. This case, New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc. v. Bruen, will, once and for all, determine the limits of states’ ability to segregate gun restrictions by favored classes.
Every law-abiding American who wants to carry a firearm ought to be able to carry one. Many states have already recognized the right to constitutional carry, and set regulations accordingly. Others have made it easier for residents to get permits. But some are still telling citizens that they need a special reason to want to carry before they’ll be allowed to exercise their constitutionally protected rights. New York is one of those states, and the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc., the local NRA affiliate, is challenging those rules.
Trevor Burrus and Spencer Davenport from the Cato Institute explains the case, writing:
More than a decade ago, the Supreme Court declared that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual right to keep and bear arms for self‐defense. Since then, lower courts have tried to restrict the right as much as possible.
New York prohibits its citizens from carrying a handgun outside the home without a license. And while New York permits concealed carry of a handgun with a license, it makes it virtually impossible for citizens to obtain a license because it requires every citizen to have a “proper cause” to carry a firearm. Under New York law, a general desire to protect oneself does not meet the “proper cause” threshold. Relying on an earlier case, the Second Circuit blessed this licensing regime. Petitioners appealed, and the Supreme Court agreed to take the case.
The Second Circuit is not anomalous in its treatment of the Second Amendment. The morass of case law since District of Columbia v. Heller is wildly divergent and unintelligible. While Heller used a history‐based inquiry, lower courts have adopted a variety of judge‐empowering balancing tests. The only thing consistent across circuits is judges upholding all but the most severe restrictions under the guise of “public safety.”
The Supreme Court is not blameless in the lower courts’ malfeasance. Though Heller resolved the question of firearms in the home, it expressly declined to say how the ruling should apply in other contexts. Moreover, the Court has consistently declined to hear challenges to other restrictive gun regulations. Thus, the Court’s decision to hear the case is significant because the ultimate decision will likely set the standard for how all Second Amendment cases are handled going forward.
The NRA is making the case that people need their rights to defend themselves from rampant crime in New York. The NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action writes:
For 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.
Despite skyrocketing crime within the Empire State, New York shamefully presumes the people’s unworthiness to defend their own lives and liberty where danger most often exists: outside the home. Those who dare to exercise their Second Amendment rights without first obtaining New York’s blessing are automatically deemed felons. No other component of the Bill of Rights is treated this way…yet. Thus, the importance of this case and NRA-ILA’s opening brief.
Action Line: Whether you need a permit or not, it’s time to get your gun and your training now.
E.J. Smith - Your Survival Guy
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