At issue will be a New York law restricting the concealed carry of guns in public places.
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday reconnected to the gun rights debate, agreeing to hear a case about New York State’s restrictions on the concealed carry of firearms in public places.
The appeal was filed by two gun owners and the New York affiliate of the National Rifle Association (NRA), an influential gun rights organization with close ties to Republicans. The plaintiffs are appealing a lower court ruling that did not uphold their lawsuit against restrictions on concealed carry outside the home.
The lower courts rejected the argument that the restrictions violate the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. The plaintiffs seek an unrestricted right to concealed carry of firearms in public places.
The decision in this case may be the most significant ruling on the Second Amendment in more than a decade. The conservative majority on the Supreme Court, where six conservatives and three liberals now sit, tends to interpret the Second Amendment broadly.
The debate over gun control has flared up with renewed vigor after a series of recent mass shootings. The day after the Indianapolis shooting, where a gunman killed eight employees at a FedEx facility on April 15, President Joe Biden called gun violence a “national disgrace.”
Biden, a longtime advocate of stricter gun control, has taken some steps at the federal level, but major changes would require congressional approval, and Senate Republicans have no intention of supporting measures already passed by the House.
New York’s case stems from the state’s current law, which requires “good cause” for concealed carry of firearms. Residents can obtain gun licenses for the purpose of hunting or shooting. There are also exemptions for certain occupations, such as bank messenger or prison guard.
To carry a gun without restrictions, applicants must convince the licensing officer that they have a real need for self-defense.
The Supreme Court will hear the case during its next session, which begins in October, with a decision due by the end of June 2022.