New York’s law restricting the right to the concealed carrying of firearm in public for self-defense purposes has come to an end.
In the case New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc. v. Bruen, several Supreme Court judges expressed concern about New York’s restrictive law, stating it sets an almost unattainable scale for proving proper cause for obtaining a concealed carry license.
This is the first time the scope of the right to carry arms has been debated before the Supreme Court in more than a decade.
Doesn’t look good for anti-gun advocates
The last decisions were made in 2008 and 2010 when the court decided how ‘the right of the Second Amendment includes weapon carrying in people’s homes for self-defense’.
This is why the decision, in this case, might be historic, as the court ruling will possibly expand the scope of the right to carry a firearm outside the home, for the purpose of self-defense.
New York lawyer, Barbara Underwood, pointed out the need to regulate the carrying of concealed weapons in order to achieve a higher goal - public safety.
She added how the fact that weapons could be carried by anyone on the subway, for example, terrifies and frightens most New Yorkers.
Such an argument did not meet with enthusiasm among judges, especially Judge Samuel Alito, who commented that even now a large number of people illegally carry weapons in public places, including subways, and now New York is trying to ban law-abiding citizens from carrying arms for self-defense?
During the hearing, some of the judges: Samuel Alito, Amy Coney Barrett, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and John Roberts - expressed their concern about the basis on which New York assesses the existence of a proper cause for obtaining a concealed wearing license, since the current regulations give the state too wide discretion to assess the reasons for granting a carrying permit, making it impossible to set limits on the admissibility of accepting or rejecting a request.
Continuing on the above, Judge Kavanaugh posed the question why is it not enough for a person living in a dangerous, violent area to secure the right to self-defense by carrying a weapon?
Judge Roberts particularly highlighted the issue of the legal text, referring to the part of the law that requires proving a proper cause in rural areas as well (because they are also considered public places) by asking sarcastically how many robberies occur in the forests?
Judge Alito drew a parallel between civil servants, retired police officers, and judges, saying there was no reason why they would be allowed to carry concealed weapons and other, “ordinary” citizens would not.
Statistics show crime in New York increased by 11.2 percent compared to the same period last year
Bill de Blasio, the mayor of New York, addressed the public on Wednesday and presented the data showing the number of court cases for committing criminal acts was reduced by 92 percent compared to data from 2019, pleas in felony cases by 53 percent and sentencing for crimes by 55 percent.
De Blasio added these figures show the court system is not working.
Lucian Chalfen, a spokesman for the city’s court system, condemned De Blasio’s statements and said criminal courts were working, increasingly busy and active, blaming the reduction in the number of cases resolved on the corona crisis and difficulties in working with prisoners due to social distancing measures.
It is an undeniable fact the number of cases of violent crime in New York is on the rise, so it is unclear how the deprivation of the right to carry arms in public for self-defense is intended to protect the citizens of New York.
The case before the Supreme Court was initiated by an appeal of two gun owners Brandon Koch and Robert Nash after the lower court rejected their arguments for obtaining a concealed carry permit outside their home.
Following the rejection, the NYRPA got involved in the case, emphasizing how the permit of weapon carrying outside the home make sense, as the highest possibility of conflict and violence happens on the streets.
Support for the NYRPA comes from the 26 state attorney generals who said New York’s demands to prove proper cause are too vague, making any possibility of controlling the state’s decision impossible.
The court’s decision is expected by the end of June next year, and it will significantly affect the rights of states to regulate restrictions on the right to carry arms in public places.
Bidens administration strongly supports New York in the restrictions and encourages judges to make a decision that will keep the law in effect.
The Biden administration points out how in addition to New York, 6 other states have similar restricting laws: Hawaii, California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Maryland, Rhode Island, and New Jersey.