The highest court in the land has agreed to hear a case in the next term involving the Second Amendment that could have far-reaching ramifications on the nation’s gun laws. Some fear it could gut many state laws and limit the actions legislators could take to tackle gun violence.
The case going before the justices is New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. vs. Corlett, which has to do with the state’s guidelines for approving or denying concealed-carry weapons permits. New York State law requires a resident to show he or she has what the state calls an “actual and articulable” need to do so, in order to obtain the license.
A ruling on this case could impact concealed-carry permits in other states, Jacob D. Charles, the executive director of the Center for Firearms law at Duke University School of Law, told CNN. Just as important, he also said the decision made in the case will shine a direct light on how the current, conservative-majority Supreme Court views the Second Amendment.
It has been more than a decade since the court has ruled on any major case having to do with the 2A, so interest in this new case would be high regardless. But given this the first case involving the right to bear arms to be considered since the confirmation of Justice Amy Coney Barrett established a 6-3 conservative advantage, and in the wake of the string of mass shootings that have hit the nation in recent weeks, there will be lots of people paying attention to what happens.
Shannon Watts, the founder of the gun law reform group Moms Demand, shared her concern about what a ruling here could mean for state gun laws.
Fred Guttenberg, whose teenage daughter Jaime was killed in the 2018 Parkland, Florida gun massacre, commented that the Supreme Court agreeing to take this new case was a signal to the Biden Administration to get federal gun legislation passed.
The case going before the Supreme Court aims to get resolution on what it calls the “single most important unresolved Second Amendment question”… whether an individual has a right to bear arms for self-defense “where confrontations often occur: outside the home.”
The lawyer representing the NYS Rifle & Pistol Association, Paul Clement, wrote that the current laws making it virtually impossible for law-abiding citizens in the state to obtain a concealed permit. One client in the case says he was refused the permit despite having a clean record and living in a neighborhood that was plagued by robberies.
“Good, even impeccable, moral character plus a simple desire to exercise a fundamental right is not sufficient.”
The Supreme Court has traditionally been reticent to rule on Second Amendment cases. The last time was the landmark 2008 case, District of Columbia vs. Heller. The late Justice Antonin Scalia wrote the decision and provided a much narrower scope for it than gun advocates wanted.
Now, with a decidedly right-leaning majority on the bench, all eyes will be watching to see how it rules on this case.