SCOTUS Hearing 2nd Amendment Case This Week — Here’s The 411

Written by Wes Walker on November 1, 2021

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While two cases about abortion rights are getting the lion’s share of public attention at the Supreme Court, there’s another one worth keeping an eye on.

It has direct implications on whether or not Concealed Carry is a right.

This question goes back to a law New York had passed that put restrictions on who could carry a firearm, and for what purpose.

The challengers in the case are a gun-rights advocacy group and two men, Robert Nash and Brandon Koch, whose applications for a concealed-carry license were denied. Both men, however, were granted a “restricted” license that allows them to carry a gun outside the home for target shooting and hunting. Koch is also allowed to carry a handgun for self-defense while traveling to and from work.

Nash, Koch, and the advocacy group went to federal court to challenge the ban on carrying handguns without a license. They also challenged what they view as the overly draconian “proper cause” requirement. The district court granted the state’s request to throw out the lawsuit, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit upheld the dismissal. That led the challengers to come to the Supreme Court, which agreed to decide whether the state’s denial of Koch’s and Nash’s applications for a license violated the Second Amendment. — Scotusblog

Nash and Koch argue that this is a reversal of the original meaning of the Second Amendment which allows that citizens should have the right to carry unless something were to disqualify them, rather than an obligation for the citizen to satisfy the government that there is just cause to own and carry a firearm.

The Second Amendment guarantees “the right of the people to keep and bear arms.” On Nov. 3, the Supreme Court will hear oral argument on how that guarantee applies to carrying guns in public. The case, New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen, involves a 108-year-old handgun-licensing law in New York – but if the justices side with the challengers, their decision could jeopardize gun-control laws in other states and cities across the country.

Both sides in the case agree that the Constitution protects a right to carry a handgun outside of the home for self-defense, but they have very different views on whether and when the government can place restrictions on that right. The court’s decision is likely to be a major ruling on gun rights, and it could hinge on the justices’ view of the history of gun rights in England and the United States – a history that, like the right itself, the parties to the case hotly dispute.

Unlike most other areas of the law, the court has few recent cases to guide its ruling. In 2008, in District of Columbia v. Heller, the justices held that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to keep a gun in the home for self-defense. Two years later, in McDonald v. City of Chicago, the court confirmed that the states – and not just the federal government – must respect that right. — Scotusblog

On November 3rd, the court will be taking oral argument on this case, and we will have a chance to measure just how ‘originalist’ Trump’s new appointees will be on a key constitutional issue.

Will they, like the Constitution itself, take a position to shield the citizen from undue state interference? Or nah?