August 23, 2021
By Mark Chesnut
The U.S. Supreme Court has set Nov. 3 to consider an all-important case dealing with whether the Second Amendment protects the right of Americans to keep and bear arms outside the home.
New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc. v Bruen is the first Second Amendment case that the Supreme Court will have considered in more than a decade and will give the court a chance to once and for all to affirm the right to bear arms in public for self-defense, as millions of Americans do every day.
The case revolves around New York’s refusal to grant concealed carry permits to law-abiding citizens without them having to show some kind of “proper cause” to qualify. The NYSRPA contends that the states’ refusal to grant carry permits simply on the basis of self-defense violates the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens there.
In its petition to the court, the association wrote: “Perhaps the single most important unresolved Second Amendment question after this Court’s landmark decisions in District of Columbia v. Heller, and McDonald v. City of Chicago, is whether the Second Amendment secures the individual right to bear arms for self-defense where confrontations often occur: outside the home,” the group wrote in its petition to the court. “The text, history and tradition of the Second Amendment and this Court’s binding precedents compel the conclusion that the Second Amendment does indeed secure that right.”
It continues: “There is no Second Amendment issue more pressing than whether the fundamental, individual right to self-defense is confined to the home. While the vast majority of states have correctly affirmed the individual’s right to decide for him or herself whether to carry a handgun for self-defense, a minority of jurisdictions seem determined to control the very people and rights that the Second Amendment promises ‘shall not be infringed.’”
The petition then concludes: “Only this Court has the power to restore proper rigor to Second Amendment analysis, and the need is even greater now than it was a decade ago in Heller. The Court should grant certiorari to resolve this persistent circuit split and restore to all of ‘the people’ protected by the Second Amendment the fundamental and individual right that it guarantees.”
Dozens of organizations have filed amicus briefs in support of the plaintiff’s position. Among them are 176 members of the U.S. House of Representatives, 25 U.S. Senators, a group made up of more than half of the state attorneys general in the nation and, of course, the National Rifle Association.
While the case seems cut and dried to most law-abiding American gun owners, the outcome is far from certain. Given the fickle nature of the Supreme Court on some recent conservative-based issues, having a clear majority doesn’t necessarily mean the justices will do the right thing given the current political winds.
We’ll follow up with further information when opening arguments begin.
Freelance writer and editor Mark Chesnut is the owner/editorial director at Red Setter Communications LLC. An avid hunter, shooter and political observer, he has been covering Second Amendment issues and politics on a near-daily basis for the past 20 years.