The inevitable collision between opposing ideologies on what the Second Amendment means is, finally here. On Monday, the United States Supreme Court agreed to hear New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Corlett. Just the decision to listen to the case is immense!
The central issue of the case is simple:
Whether the state of New York’s denial of petitioners’ applications for concealed-carry licenses for self-defense violated the Second Amendment.
In other words, this case will look at the contentious practice of states that require a law-abiding citizen to have “good cause” to obtain a concealed carry permit in the state.
States referred to as “may issue” decide if the applicant has “good cause” to obtain a permit. The state can deny an applicant, even after they have completed training, and can legally possess and purchase a firearm.
Conversely, states called “shall issue” must issue a license to any applicant who fulfills any training and legal requirements, period.
Right now, only 7 states are may-issue jurisdictions. Put another way, 44 states must give a permit to a law-abiding citizen who passes training requirements or does not require a license at all!
In fact, in the first 4 months of 2021, 4 states have passed laws removing the license requirement to carry concealed.
The Supreme Court Has Been Quiet on the 2nd Amendment:
Many gun owners have been frustrated by the Supreme Court for not taking up recent gun rights cases. In doing this, the Supreme Court will be ruling on the most significant case affecting gun rights in America since the District of Columbus V. Heller in 2008.
In Heller, the court clarified that:
The Second Amendment guarantees an individual right to possess firearms independent of service in a state militia and to use firearms for traditionally lawful purposes, including self-defense within the home.
Since that ruling applied to self-defense within the home, the natural question is: what about outside the home? Does the Second Amendment’s right to possess a firearm for self-defense also apply outside the home?
Most of you reading this post, I assume, would say, of course, it applies. A free, law-abiding citizen should be able to defend themselves inside their home, as well as outside their home.
Many Disagree With Heller:
However, we have to understand not everyone thinks that way. There have been several court cases in the jurisdictions where these restrictions to obtaining a concealed carry license exist. The courts have rejected appeals. Moreover, because the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear them, the rulings supported the restrictive laws.
Being burned too many times in the past, I will not make predictions on how a legal case will turn out. We can, however, look at some of the factors that may seem to indicate that the court may rule one way or the other.
First, the makeup of the supreme court seems to lean more conservative in their approach to the constitution. Currently, the court sits at a 6-3 split, with the six justices described as being generally more conservative in their rulings.
During his Presidency, President Trump nominated 3 Supreme Cour Justices. These three additions to the court have a track record of ruling against restrictions on the 2nd Amendment. The court’s ratio does not mean the outcome will be a win for the plaintiff, but the court’s composition certainly does not hurt.
We miss the late Justice Antonin Scalia.
Next, this same court has recently rejected other gun-rights cases. As mentioned above, this rejection has angered many who hoped that as soon as the court shifted more conservative, they would hear all the critical 2nd Amendment cases. I have been frustrated. However, I understand that the U.S. Supreme Court hears only a tiny fraction of cases presented. Perhaps this is a case that the court believes is clear and addresses the core issue without being intertwined in other legal matters.
Thirdly, it is time. The chasm between pro-gun states and restrictive gun states continues to grow. While I am a firm believer in states’ rights, when a country has such vast differences between neighboring jurisdictions, it creates instability. A case like this would not preclude states from instituting “reasonable” licensing restrictions (whatever reasonable means). Instead, clarify if they can or can’t pick and choose whose life is worth protecting.
Factor 4, the variable:
Then here is the anti-gun hysteria variable. There are intense gun reform demands from the executive and legislative branches of the federal government and corporations, media, athletics, and violent extremist groups.
While any outside factors should not influence the Judicial Branch, it is hard to ignore them completely. I by no means want to cast doubt on the justices’ intent to be impartial, but rather the understanding that anti-gun sentiment is incredibly high and pervasive.
A look into the anti-gun politician’s mind:
Finally, when I heard the Supreme Court took the case, I immediately thought of professional slime-bag, Congressman Charlie Rangel. Kerry Picket of The Daily Caller interviewed him in an interview on 6/22/2016.
You can read about the interview on the Daily Caller website and can hear the interview here. Picket asked Rangel why wealthy and connected people, including those politicians like himself, deserved to be protected by firearms, and others should not. Among saying other disturbing things, Rangel laughed and added:
Well that’s a little different. I think we deserve–I think we need to be protected down here.
Rangle is half right. Politicians do need to be protected. Nevertheless, guess what, Congressman, so does every other citizen of this great Country! Politicians have been trying to convince us that we don’t have the right to defend ourselves with guns. Instead, we should trust them to do it.
Stay tuned, folks. It’s gonna’ be a bumpy ride!