Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Major Case on Carrying Concealed Handguns

The Supreme Court has not issued a major Second Amendment ruling since 2010, but will now consider a challenge to a longstanding New York gun control law.

SCOTUS established in 2008 an individual’s right to keep guns in homes for self-defense in District of Columbia vs. Heller. Now they are ready to hear New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. Corlett, backed by the National Rifle Association to New York state’s restrictions on people carrying concealed handguns in public. It is a case that could further undermine firearms control efforts nationally.

Two New York gun owners are challenging the current law, which requires someone who wishes to carry a handgun in public to demonstrate “proper cause” in order to obtain a license permitting them to do so.

Proper cause can be demonstrated in several ways. Someone who wishes to use a gun for hunting or target practice may obtain a license permitting them to do so, although this type of license can be restricted to only allow the bearer to use their gun for these purposes. People in certain kinds of work may also obtain licenses — a storekeeper might be issued a limited license allowing them to keep a gun in their store for protection, for example, or a bank messenger may be allowed to carry a gun to protect themselves and the money they transport.

But to obtain an unrestricted license to carry, New York courts have established that an applicant must “demonstrate a special need for self-protection distinguishable from that of the general community or of persons engaged in the same profession.” So someone might be able to obtain a license because they have a particular fear of their stalker — but someone who merely wants to carry a gun, because of a general belief that it would be useful if they are ever the victim of a violent crime, cannot obtain a license.

from Vox

Reuters, NYT