New York State doesn’t recognize a right to carry a gun in public. To get a concealed-carry permit, applicants must show they have an unusually strong need for self-defense, not just a normal and healthy desire to keep themselves safe. The state also bans the open carry of guns entirely. There’s a “circuit split” among the nation’s courts as to whether such strict restrictions are kosher.
The New York State Pistol and Rifle Association and the National Rifle Association are asking the Supreme Court to step in. And now would be a good time for the Court to better enforce the Second Amendment, a project it began with Heller and McDonald more than a decade ago. I’ll have more to say about this case if the Court takes it, but here are a few things I’m interested in when it comes to gun-carrying and the Second Amendment. Most important is the core question of whether the right to “bear arms” includes a right to carry weapons in public. Since the previous Supreme Court cases, some academics have purported to find strong evidence that, instead, the term overwhelmingly referred to military-related activity in Founding-era writings. [full article]