Supreme Court agrees to hear major gun rights case involving N.Y. law

Various handguns are seen at a gun shop in Dundee, Ill. The Supreme Court said Monday it's agreed to hear a challenge to a New York gun rights law this fall. File Photo by Brian Kersey/UPI

April 26 (UPI) — The U.S. Supreme Court said Monday that it will hear a major gun rights case that challenges a New York law requiring those who seek concealed weapon permits to show a special need for self-defense.

The court will hear the case, New York State Rifle & Pistol Association vs. Corlett, during its next term that begins in October. The case was listed on the high court’s docket Monday.

The court has not considered a major gun control case in more than a decade.

In challenging the New York law, the case backed by the National Rifle Association is asking the court to declare there is a constitutional right to carry a weapon outside the home.

The New York law is similar to those in Maryland, Massachusetts and other states that the court has declined to review in the past.

Most states require a permit to carry a concealed weapon, but some place few restrictions on carrying a gun, according to the Giffords Law Center.

Justice Clarence Thomas had urged the court to take up the issue and Justice Brett Kavanaugh wrote that he hoped it would consider a new case soon, CNN reported.

The court ruled in 2008 that the Second Amendment protects an individual’s right to keep weapons at home for self-defense. Since that time, the justices have largely avoided the issue.

In the New York case, the law requires a resident to show an “actual and articulable” need to carry concealed handguns in public.

Paul Clement, an attorney in the lawsuit, says the law makes it “virtually impossible” for ordinary, law-abiding citizens to get a necessary license, according to NBC News.

Robert Nash and Brandon Koch, who joined the suit, were turned down for concealed carry permits for self-defense outside their homes. Nash wanted to carry a gun after a string of robberies in his neighborhood and Koch for protection. Both said they completed gun safety courses.

New York Attorney General, Letitia James asked the Supreme Court not to take up the case, saying the right to carry a concealed weapon can be subject to state regulation.

In a written brief, she said the New York law was a response to an increase in homicides and suicides committed with concealed firearms early in the 20th century.

“The Supreme Court’s decision in the case could have an impact on the millions of people living in jurisdictions with restrictive public carry licensing regimes and will tell us how broadly the current set of justices are reading the Second Amendment,” said Jacob Charles, executive director of the Center for Firearms law at Duke University School of Law, according to CNN.


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