The Supeme Court agreed on Monday April 26, 2021 to decide how much protection the Second Amendment provides for carrying a gun outside the home. It’s been more than a decade that the court has agreed to take up a central issue of the gun rights debate. The court agreed to hear a challenge to a New York state law that allows residents to carry a concealed handgun only if they can demonstrate a special need beyond a general desire for self-protection. This law makes it virtually impossible for the ordinary law-abiding citizen to get the necessary license to carry a concealed gun for self protection.
Last year, the court dismissed a challenge to another New York law that said residents with a permit to keep a gun at home could not take their weapon beyond city limits for use at a second home or a shooting range. That case was tossed out after the city repealed the law. Justice Clarence Thomas criticized his colleagues saying “The right to keep and bear arms is apparently this Court’s constitutional orphan.” Justice Brett Kavanaugh, said that the court should address the larger Second Amendment issue by taking up other challenges to gun restrictions, such as on carrying guns outside the home.
The Supreme Court has been reluctant to take up gun rights issue’s in the past. This case has the potential to be a landmark ruling. It would be a huge Second Amendment victory to have the court resolve whether an individual has the right to bear arms for self-defense. Finally this could be the precedent that all State Courts must uphold. Court will hold oral argument during the October 2021 sitting.
This and other Supreme Court cases can be followed here.