On Wednesday, arguments before the Supreme Court will begin in a significant gun rights case out of New York, which could open up new avenues for American citizens to acquire concealed carry permits, the New York Post reports.
At the heart of the case is a law that was first passed in 1913, which dictates that anyone seeking a concealed carry permit must demonstrate “proper cause” in order to be allowed to carry such a firearm in public. There are currently two types of such licenses in New York: Unrestricted, which allows the holder to carry a weapon anywhere, and restricted, which only allows them to do so under certain circumstances.
The lawsuit against the 108-year-old law was filed by two private citizens and the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association, and argues that the law “makes it effectively impossible for an ordinary, law-abiding citizen to obtain a license to carry a handgun for self-defense.” The suit is pursuing a Second Amendment argument to overturn the law, arguing that the Constitutional right to “keep and bear arms” overrides the New York law.
On the other side of the lawsuit, the state of New York is defending the law by claiming that the Constitution allows states to regulate the open carrying and display of firearms, while at the same time claiming that the law does not outright ban the use of concealed carry permits, but is instead more of a restriction. Other gun control advocates have claimed, without evidence, that overturning the law and increasing access to guns will lead to an increase in violence.
Although previous efforts to challenge such sweeping gun restrictions have failed to even make it to the nation’s highest court, pro-gun groups are now hopeful that the case will go in their favor; as a result of President Trump’s three appointments – Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett – the Supreme Court now has a 6-3 conservative majority. If the New York law is ultimately overturned, it could also indirectly overturn similar anti-gun laws in states such as California, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Rhode Island.