Supreme Court Will Hear First Major Gun Case in Over a Decade

The Supreme Court said Monday that it will hear a challenge to a New York law that limits the right to carry a gun outside the home, The New York Times reports.

The Supreme Court is expected to hear the NRA-backed case in the fall, its first major gun case since it struck down Washington DC’s gun ban in 2008.

The court will review a state law that requires people applying for a license to carry a gun outside the home to show “proper cause” after two men who were denied licenses argued the “state makes it virtually impossible for the ordinary law-abiding citizen to obtain a license.”

California, Delaware, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Rhode Island have similar laws on the books.

The court will determine “whether the state’s denial of petitioners’ applications for concealed-carry licenses for self-defense violated the Second Amendment.”

Previous challenges rejected:

Federal courts have typically rejected challenges to these and other gun restrictions.

Just last month, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 7-4 to uphold Hawaii’s law.

“Our review of more than 700 years of English and American legal history reveals a strong theme: government has the power to regulate arms in the public square,” the majority opinion in that case said.

But an Illinois federal court struck down a state law barring carrying guns in public.

The Supreme Court is also far more conservative than it was the last time it heard a gun case, with three Trump-appointed judges giving the court a 6-3 conservative majority.

SCOTUS avoided gun cases:

The Supreme Court has typically avoided gun cases, drawing criticism from conservative Justices Clarence Thomas and Neil Gorsuch.

The court agreed to hear a challenge to another New York City law that restricted where guns can be kept after Justice Brett Kavanaugh joined the court but the city repealed the law before it could be heard.

Kavanaugh agreed with Thomas and Gorsuch that the Supreme Court needs to be more involved in Second Amendment cases.

“The court should address that issue soon,” he wrote.

But last year, the court rejected 10 appeals of Second Amendment cases.


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