Dozens of amicus briefs backing NY gun law challenge submitted to SCOTUS

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Dozens of amicus briefs supporting a challenge of New York State carry laws have been submitted to the U.S. Supreme court.

The Supreme Court of the United States is going to be busy starting in October, when the first challenge of a state gun control law in more than 11 years is to be heard by the justices, who could determine whether “good cause” requirements to obtain carry permits stacks up as constitutional under the Second Amendment.

For conservatives, it will be an opportunity to see whether there actually is a “conservative majority” on the high court, or the justices will allow New York State’s permit requirement to stand.

More than 40 briefs supporting the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association (NYSR&PA) in its challenge of the state “good cause” requirement have been submitted. The briefs represent about 200 interested parties including gun rights organizations, 25 Republican members of the U.S. Senate and 176 members of the House of Representatives, Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas and other individuals.

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According to Alan Gottlieb, chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, interest in this case, known as New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Kevin P. Bruen, The New York group is a state affiliate of CCRKBA.

This case could have national implications, especially in states including New Jersey, Maryland, Massachusetts and California that still allow wide latitude for enforcement agencies to arbitrarily deny a carry license to any applicant who can’t provide a good enough reason to be armed outside their home. The majority of states have adopted a “shall issue” standard that enables any law-abiding citizen who meets certain requirements and passes a background check to be licensed. Some states require training, others do not. Twenty state require no license or permit at all to carry a firearm for personal protection.

There is a credible argument that this and other legal actions challenging state or local gun control laws would never have been possible had it not been for the June 2010 Supreme Court ruling in the case of McDonald v. City of Chicago, which was brought by the Second Amendment Foundation and Illinois State Rifle Association on behalf of the late Otis McDonald and other private citizens. ISRA, coincidentally, is also an affiliate of the CCRKBA.

The flood of amicus briefs in this case could be a record in terms of interest, Gottlieb suggested. Some 75 attorneys were involved with these briefs, from all over the country. There should be no mystery why. Ever since the 2008 Heller ruling that struck down the handgun ban in Washington, D.C., Second Amendment advocates have been waiting for a good case to expand on the parameters of the right to bear arms, as opposed to just keeping arms.

Anti-gunners have argued that the right should be limited to one’s residence, but people including Gottlieb have maintained this view of the Second Amendment is myopic, if not preposterous. Earlier this week, Gottlieb was quoted by AmmoLand News observing, “A right limited to someone’s home is no right at all, and the court now has an opportunity to make that abundantly clear.”


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