By: José Niño
The U.S. Supreme Court could soon strike down several provisions of New York gun control.
SCOTUS will soon be hearing a case that challenges New York gun control policy that will determine how far constitutional safeguards go for carrying a firearm outside a person’s home. Oral arguments in the first major gun case the court has agreed to hear in a decade will begin November 3.
AWR Hawkins of Breitbart News observed, “The case centers on New York’s requirement that concealed carry applicants show ‘proper cause’ before being issued a carry permit.”
The New York State Rifle and Pistol Association and private individuals Brandon Nash and Robert Koch teamed-up to challenge the state of New York’s concealed permitting law. What sparked this legal case was how Nash and Koch were denied a concealed carry permit based on the New York law’s “proper cause” requirement.
The defendants in this case are Keith M. Corellet, the superintendent of the New York State Police, Richard J, McNally Jr., the Justice of the New York Supreme Court, the Third Judicial District, and the Licensing Officer for Rensselaer County.
The petitioners put forward the following argument:
New York prohibits its ordinary law-abiding citizens from carrying a handgun outside the home without a license, and it denies licenses to every citizen who fails to convince the state that he or she has “proper cause” to carry a firearm. In District of Columbia v. Heller, this Court held that the Second Amendment protects “the individual right to possess and carry weapons in case of confrontation.”
The petitioners are aiming to obtain a ruling on “whether the Second Amendment allows the government to prohibit ordinary law-abiding citizens from carrying handguns outside the home for self-defense.”
Back in 2018, a federal judge ruled against Nash and Kock, which the federal appeals court upheld.
Attorney Paul Clement sent a petition to the Supreme Court to hear the case, where he wrote the following:
[“Proper Cause’ laws] deny to ordinary law-abiding citizens like petitioners Nash and Koch the rights that the Second Amendment protects. By requiring a permit applicant to submit evidence differentiating him or herself from the body of “the people” guaranteed rights under the Second Amendment, the New York regime is not merely an infringement; the regime is antithetical to the constitutional freedom itself.
The case is New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. New York. This is the reality of gun policy in Blue State America, where gun owners’ only real recourse is to use the courts to roll-back gun control. According to Guns & Ammomagazine’s respective Best States for Gun Owners and Best States for Concealed Carry rankings, New York is ranked in 51st and 48th place.
For the time being, gun owners in the Empire State will have to rely on the courts to resist any further encroachments on their liberties. In the near future, gun owners in more gun-friendly areas in Upstate New York will likely have to entertain the idea of nullifying unconstitutional laws coming from Albany.
No matter how you slice it, there are no easy options for New Yorkers who want to dramatically reform gun policy in their state, but this case could have far-reaching effects for all Americans.
José Niño is a freelance writer based in Austin, Texas. Sign up for his mailing list here. Contact him via Facebook, Twitter, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Get his e-book, The 10 Myths of Gun Control, here.