Are NY Concealed Carry License Restrictions Constitutional? NRA-ILA Files Opening Brief in U.S. Supreme Court

On Monday, the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) filed their opening brief in the United States Supreme Court Case :

KEVIN P. BRUEN, in His Official Capacity as
Superintendent of the New York State Police,
RICHARD J. MCNALLY, JR., in His Official Capacity
as Justice of the New York Supreme Court, Third
Judicial District, and Licensing Officer for
Rensselaer County,


The case centers on this fundamental question:

Whether the State’s denial of petitioners’ applications for concealed-carry licenses for selfdefense violated the Second Amendment.

supreme court

The two petitioners, Nash and Koch, argue that New York’s concealed carry licensing requirements are overly restrictive and deny individuals their constitutionally protected Second Amendment right. The right to not only “keep” but also “bear” or carry “arms” outside of their home for self-protection.

gun rights

Shall v. May Issue:

New York is one of 9 states that are considered “may-issue” states. May-issue means someone must present good cause for obtaining a concealed carry permit.  On the other hand, Shall issue requires the state to approve the application. Provided they meet the state’s requirements and are not a prohibited person. And there are also constitutional, and permitless carry states which do not require a permit to carry concealed or openly.

The most notable cases on the individual’s right to keep arms are District of Columbia v. Heller and McDonald v. City of Chicago.

The Court in D.C. v. Heller confirmed the individual’s right to keep arms and their right to self-defense exist together. The Court affirmed that “all Americans” have the right to carry weapons for self-defense.

In McDonald v. City of Chicago, stated Americans must be permitted to carry firearms for the lawful purpose of self-defense.

My Opinion:

The issue is that New York gun laws do not allow an individual to carry a firearm without first obtaining a permit to carry the gun. However, the licensing requirement to show “proper cause” is overly vague and open to interpretation of the issuing body. New York denies applicants if they do not satisfy the issuing officer with enough evidence that they need a firearm for protection.

As if an individual’s life is only worthy of protection if the issuing officer thinks so. I’ve often asked people if we can call it a right if we have to ask for permission. I think not.

Because the state views self-defense as a privilege and not a right, this requirement nullifies Heller and McDonald’s assertion that carrying a gun is at the core of self-defense.

I am a supporter of constitutional carry, and of course, find this “may-issue” nonsense not only unconstitutional but immoral, authoritarian, and unAmerican.

Read the Entire Opening Brief:

Reading the brief would be time well spent if you really want to understand what the case is about.

This story will definitely be something we follow as it develops.

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  1. Dave on July 16, 2021 at 4:13 pm

    I used to live in a county in Commiefornia that was a shall not issue county unless you knew someone. Very unconstitutional but every time they would be brought to court over it they would win. So sad that this even happens.

    Now since we’ve moved to Arizona I can enjoy the freedoms that every person should enjoy. I am really confused how this behavior can continue. New York from what I have heard also goes by the “good old boy” rule. If you have enough cash or you know someone you’re in.

    Should be blatantly illegal in my opinion.

  2. PatK on September 8, 2021 at 3:51 pm

    I live in New York but I fall under laws that prohibit me from owning ANY firearm whether it could be concealed or not, for something I did as a minor 40 years ago. I’ve lived in other states such as Oregon, where I witnessed 20 year olds walk into a gun shop and walk out with a hand gun 30 minutes later. I was told I would be arrested for ATTEMPTING to purchase a gun in any legally authorized venue.
    As a 60 year old, I increasingly feel that every person comfortable with owning a firearm, should. My personal safety and that of my family, is of paramount importance.

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