After a sitting President just told the country that “no amendment is absolute” and gun control proponents are now heading up the Executive, House and the Senate, many Second Amendment supporters have found themselves questioning where gun rights will end up in the next couple of years.
Enter a New York lawsuit aimed at restricting gun owners from carrying a loaded firearm outside of the home without a New York Pistol License. The issue began when two New York residents were denied licenses because they did not meet the requirements.
It’s not that they were criminals or that they were not old enough. Their licenses were denied because they did not meet the state requirement of having a “special need” to carry a gun.
Well wait, what more “need” is there for carrying a firearm in public beyond self-defense?
After the lower courts upheld the law, the case, New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. Corlett, was presented to the Supreme Court for consideration. On April 26, 2021, the court agreed to hear the case during their next session, beginning in October.
The issue the Supreme Court was originally asked to decide on — whether a law-abiding citizen has the right to carry a firearm outside of the home under the Second Amendment — was quite broad and would have changed gun laws across the country.
While the Court did not agree to hear this broad issue, they did agree to hear the question of whether the government can deny a New York Pistol License to conceal carry for self-defense without violating the Second Amendment.
Proponents of the Second Amendment are disappointed with the narrower focus, but there is still hope.
A ruling in favor of the plaintiff would affect similar gun laws in other states that restrict their citizens’ rights to carry in public.
Not only would this decision make some current gun laws unconstitutional, it may provide the language needed for lower courts to reverse other gun laws as well.
Since the 2008 decision in the case of District of Columbia v. Heller, in which the Supreme Court ruled that Americans do have a right to own a firearm and keep it in their home, lower courts have lacked additional guidance and precedent.
We don’t know what the next few years will hold, but if the first few months have been a forecast, we’re in for a rough storm. It’s more important than ever to get involved with or in communication with our local governments to protect our Second Amendment rights.
If you’re looking for hope, the Supreme Court may just currently be our best option.