Listen to U.S. Supreme Court Argument on Bearing Arms
The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on the next major Second Amendment case on Wednesday, Nov. 3, starting at 10 a.m.
The case is New York State Rifle Pistol Assn. v. Bruen (formerly New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. Corlett). Buckeye Firearms Association (BFA) submitted an amicus brief in this case, just as we submitted briefs in the former landmark cases of D.C. v. Heller and McDonald v. City of Chicago. Justice Samuel Alito cited our brief in the final opinion for the McDonald case.
It has been 13 years since the court ruled in D.C. v. Heller that the Second Amendment protects the individual right to have a gun in the home for self-defense. The case of McDonald v. City of Chicago followed two years later, finding that this individual right is enforceable in the states.
Now the court will finally take up a case to decide if the Second Amendment also protects the right to carry a gun outside the home.
Facts of the Case:
The state of New York requires a person to show a special need for self-protection to receive an unrestricted license to carry a concealed firearm outside the home.
Robert Nash and Brandon Koch challenged the law after New York rejected their concealed-carry applications based on failure to show "proper cause." A district court dismissed their claims, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed.
Question to be Decided:
Does New York's law requiring that applicants for unrestricted concealed-carry licenses demonstrate a special need for self-defense violate the Second Amendment?
In plain English, The Heller and McDonald cases confirmed that individuals have a right to "keep" arms. The upcoming case seeks to confirm that individuals have a right to "bear" arms.
You and I know what the Second Amendment says and what it means. But bringing these cases to the court to generate decisions gives guidance to lower courts and to lawmakers all over America. The effect of a Supreme Court ruling can be breathtaking.
Before the Heller case, for example, it was common for gun control advocates to argue that the Second Amendment is a "collective" right, not an individual right that each American should enjoy. But after the ruling, everything changed. And today nearly everyone recognizes gun ownership as an individual right. Even the most brazen gun control advocates are forced to acknowledge this fact.
It changed the entire gun control debate and affects every court decision and every law in every state. The much-anticipated Bruen case could very well become the next landmark ruling, with a decision from the court expected sometime in 2022.
Unless you are famous or well-connected, or have money to hire an attorney to navigate the licensing process, it is nearly impossible for an average person to get a carry license in New York. This is by design, with lawmakers and officials clearly intending to infringe the Constitutional right to keep and bear arms.
It is time for the court to address this injustice.
We've talked about U.S. Supreme Court cases on our Keep and Bear Radio podcast. Click to listen.
- Will NYSRPA v. Bruen Lead to the Next Landmark Gun Rights Decision?
- Justice Scalia Drops the Hammer: The 2nd Amendment Means What it Says
- An Interview with Dick Heller, the Man Who Saved the Second Amendment
Dean Rieck is Executive Director of Buckeye Firearms Association, a former competitive shooter, NRA Patron Member, #1 NRA Recruiter for 2013, business owner and partner with Second Call Defense.