The U.S. Supreme Court’s fall docket features a headline-grabbing case coming out of New York that pits government overreach against the Second Amendment right of citizens to carry a firearm.
In New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen, the state wants to control who qualifies for a concealed carry permit by making law-abiding citizens prove they have a good reason to qualify. And if everyday people think New York City’s 22-percent rise in overall crime, 20.5 percent increase in felony assault, or 17.4 percent rise in murders are reasons to carry a firearm to defend yourself, officials in Democrat-run New York disagree. Anti-Second Amendment lawmakers prefer you call 911 so that a CSI unit can put chalk around your cold dead body.
“The entire point of the New York scheme is not simply or primarily to screen out applicants who fail to meet objective standards of responsible and law-abiding behavior. It is to give authorities complete control over who gets to exercise the right and who does not,” an NRA opinion piece recently stated. “This, of course, is wholly incompatible with the idea of a fundamental right, which exists, as the Supreme Court said in the Second Amendment context, ‘to take certain policy choices off the table.’ If the starting point for a carry licensing scheme is presumptive denial, then there is no right at all, only a privilege administered to the favored few.”
In this case, Robert Nash and Brandon Koch were issued concealed carry permits with travel limitations. But their access to a self-defense handgun was denied for most areas. It seems almost ironic that New York started the concealed carry permitting process in 1913 after the Big Apple experienced a surge in homicides that almost mirror conditions today. Of course, now Democrats have the fake news media on a leash to call violence “most peaceful protests” and blame “racism” for the plague of inner-city shootings. That being said, the high court expects to hear oral arguments for New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen on Nov. 3, and many anticipate this could move the needle in favor of lawful gun ownership and carry.
The last major gun rights case before the U.S. Supreme Court transpired in 2008. Justices handed down a 5-4 decision striking a Washington, D.C., law that effectively banned people from keeping a handgun in their own home for self-defense. In the District of Columbia v. Heller, the court expanded the understanding of the Second Amendment from the ability to maintain a militia to one of an individual’s right to self-defense.
The conventional wisdom heading into the fall docket is that former President Donald Trump’s three conservative justices will again tip the scales in favor of individual gun ownership and self-defense rights. Justices Neil Gorsuch, Amy Coney Barrett, and Brett Kavanaugh are expected to join Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas, asserting that the burden to deny a concealed carry permit is squarely on the government to prove someone can be disqualified.
Joe Biden and A.G. Merrick Garland have filed briefs supporting the New York law and an effective end to lawful gun ownership. Everyday Americans should count their blessings that Sen. Mitch McConnell prevented Garland from securing a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court and trampling the Constitution.