Supreme Court expected to soon issue ruling to expand gun rights in New York concealed carry permit case

Democrats are furiously demanding a host of new and stricter gun control laws in the wake of two recent high-profile mass shootings in New York and Texas.

The Supreme Court, however, appears poised to rule in favor of expanding gun rights in regard to a case involving New York’s incredibly strict and arbitrary concealed carry permitting regime, the Conservative Brief reported.

If the high court rules New York’s concealed carry permit regulations to be an unconstitutional infringement of the Second Amendment, the ruling would likely also apply to eight other Democrat-run states plus the District of Columbia that have similarly strict regulations limiting concealed carry permits.

Court poised to expand concealed carry rights

The Hill reported that a decision in the New York case will be released within the next few weeks, no later than early July, and it is widely expected that the conservative majority will strike down the state’s onerous and arbitrary licensing regulations.

“It does seem relatively clear that the court is going to strike down New York’s law and make it harder for cities and states to restrict concealed carry of firearms,” Adam Winkler, a UCLA School of Law professor, told the outlet. “It remains to be seen exactly how broad the Supreme Court goes, but one thing is clear: as mass shootings become more of a political issue, the court is going to take options away from lawmakers on the basis of the Second Amendment.”

Another law professor, Joseph Blocher of Duke University’s Center for Firearms Law, told The Hill that this impending decision could be even more impactful than 2008’s D.C. v Heller, in which the court struck down D.C.’s total ban on handguns and ruled that the Second Amendment protects an individual’s right to possess firearms in their own homes.

New York’s arbitrary and onerous requirements for concealed carry permit

The case is known as New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen, and it poses a simple question: “Whether the state of New York’s denial of petitioners’ applications for concealed-carry licenses for self-defense violated the Second Amendment.”

At issue here, according to SCOTUSblog, is a requirement in New York state law that applicants for concealed carry permits must provide a “proper cause” for why they should be granted a permit that is above and beyond just self-defense or the defense of one’s property.

Final approval of permit applications is left up to the discretion of the chief law enforcement officer with jurisdiction over an applicant — such as a city police chief or county sheriff — meaning such officials, particularly those with anti-gun views, can arbitrarily decide who can and can’t carry lawfully or even simply decline to approve any permits whatsoever.

Challengers of the New York law have argued that this arbitrary regulation clearly violates the Second Amendment, specifically the right to “keep” and “bear” firearms, which is interpreted to mean possess and carry outside of the home.

How broad or narrow will the court’s ruling be?

SCOTUSblog’s report in November following oral arguments in the case noted that it seemed fairly clear from the justices’ questions that the conservative majority would likely rule against New York’s law, though it remained to be seen exactly how broad or narrow that ruling might be.

The Hill noted that the law professors it cited suggested there were three main possibilities — first, that the Second Amendment extends outside of the home to protect firearms carry in public; second, that New York officials had too much discretion to reject otherwise qualified applicants; and third, though much less likely, that all concealed carry licensing schemes are unconstitutional and all citizens, with some exceptions, inherently possess the natural right to carry concealed firearms in public without government approval.

Latest News