The Supreme Court granted “certiorari,” or agreed to hear a case earlier this week that has the potential to overturn New York gun laws and provide precedent for doing the same in other states, according to The Federalist. Here’s what you need to know.
The case is called New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc. v. Corlett. The case comes after two New York residents, Robert Nash and Brandon Koch, were denied concealed carry licenses.
In the state of New York, residents may only conceal carry a handgun and only if they have a license. Unfortunately, the state will only issue a license if the applicant can prove that “proper cause exists.” “Proper cause” is not defined by law and is therefore open to interpretation by who approves license applications.
However, courts have concluded that “must ‘demonstrate a special need for self-protection distinguishable from that of the general community or of persons engaged in the same profession.’” Unfortunately, this means that living in a high-crime area is not justification for receiving a concealed carry license.
This case before the Supreme Court is a step towards explicitly defining the constitutionality of carrying outside the home. One would naturally come to the conclusion that Americans have the right to carry a gun when reading the second amendment, but many states have made laws that restrict this right. This case has the potential to overturn this New York law and have similar effects in other states.
Justice Clarence Thomas has already made his views clear on whether or not the 2nd Amendment protects carrying a firearm in public. In 2020, he wrote that “at the time of the founding, as now, to bear meant to carry.
When used with arms, . . . the term has a meaning that refers to carrying for a particular purpose—confrontation. Thus, the right to bear arms refers to the right to wear, bear, or carry upon the person or in the clothing or in a pocket, for the purpose of being armed and ready for offensive or defensive action in a case of conflict with another person. The most natural reading of this definition encompasses public carry.”
Whatever happens with New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc. v. Corlett, the willingness of the Supreme Court to hear this case is step in the direction of restoring Americans’ God-given right of self-protection.