The U.S. Supreme Court’s current session is already going into the history books with a decision pending on a landmark abortion case, but yet another major ruling could be on the way if signs about how the court is going to rule on a restrictive New York anti-gun law are any indication.
The nation’s highest court is set to rule on a New York law that requires gun owners to carry a permit to carry a firearm outside their homes. Gun banners are afraid the ruling could void the New York law.
The biggest problem for New Yorkers is that being awarded a gun permit is extremely difficult in New York and permit applicants must prove to police that they face a “special or unique danger” and have “proper cause” to obtain a permit.
This is called “may issue,” in that citizens can apply for a permit, but the police may deny the application for any reason. Other states have “shall issue” rules requiring authorities to issue a permit without forcing citizens to prove anything other than their legal standing.
New York, though, makes getting a permit nearly impossible, and two Rensselaer County residents have sued the state arguing they shouldn’t have to prove proper cause to exercise their constitutional right.
“Carrying a firearm outside the home is a fundamental constitutional right. It is not some extraordinary action that requires an extraordinary demonstration of need,” attorney Paul Clement said during November’s oral arguments on the case, according to a CBS report published Monday.
Anti-gun advocates feel that the Supreme Court case, New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. Bruen, could upend many of New York’s restrictive gun laws.
The justices’ questioning of lawyers arguing the case may have been a sign that a majority of the court is against the law.
“The consensus based on the oral arguments is that they will probably strike down New York’s law, which has been on the books for a century,” Saul Cornell, the Paul and Diane Guenther Chair in American History at Fordham University, told CBS in a separate piece, also published Monday.
Warren Eller, an associate professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, told the network the Supreme Court could easily edge toward knocking down some of New York’s laws considering the fact that so many other states have already loosened their laws.
“Forty-three states make it easier than New York to obtain a gun carry permit, with a variety of background and reference check requirements, along with mandatory gun safety training,” CBS wrote.
Along with the pending case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which could overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion, and the 1992 Casey decision that followed, the New York gun case could have ramifications around the country.
If the court rules broadly in favor of the two citizens who brought the New York suit, the ruling won’t merely affect the Empire State, but every left-leaning state with restrictive gun laws.
However, the high court has also delivered many narrow rulings, too. It is possible that the court will stipulate that the coming ruling will only pertain to New York itself, instead of a general ruling that could cover the nation.
Still, the possibility that the ruling might knock down New York’s laws is worrying to many anti-gun, left-wingers.
New York City Mayor Eric Adams said the possibility that the court could overturn decades of state laws and regulations on guns “keeps me up at night,” CNN reported.
“We’re going to look at the ruling because the ruling could be on several different levels. We’re going to look at the ruling and see what powers we have and what are we going to need from our federal lawmakers to sort of put laws in place that could prevent the Supreme Court ruling from impacting our cities,” Adams added.
Suffolk County, New York, Police Commissioner Rodney Harrison said he is “very concerned,” according to CNN.
Harrison, a former New York City policeman, worried that regular citizens aren’t “trained.”
“John Q. Public gets a gun he’s not trained to use and now he comes up on someone he thinks is committing a crime,” Harrison said, adding that he thinks people with concealed carry permits will run around creating chaos by “taking matters into their own hands.”
“If the Supreme Court does issue the type of opinion that many predict, we will have to innovate and adapt to meet the new public safety challenges that the decision may pose — and we will,” he wrote in a memo, according to CNN.
Whether narrow and affecting only New York, or broader and affecting the whole country, this coming ruling could be yet another decision in favor of American rights protected by the Second Amendment.
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