New York’s concealed carry restrictions are far too restrictive

Pixabay

Pixabay

Dani Heba

The U.S. Supreme Court has granted certiorari to the case of the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc., et al. v. Corlett, et al., challenging New York’s ban on concealed carry of handguns without “proper cause.”

It is about time the Supreme Court affirms the right of not only New Yorkers but all Americans to carry arms outside the home.

Current New York law states that a concealed carry license to carry a handgun outside the house “without regard to employment or place of possession” may only be granted “when proper cause exists for issuance thereof.”

Essentially, this means that it is virtually impossible to be approved for a concealed carry license unless one is a police officer, a retired police officer, a military service member or a former military service member or unless one has fame and connections to the mayor.

“We decided that we were going to try to change that and make sure that New York state residents who want a pistol permit or a concealed carry permit are given the same protections under the law that everybody else in the other 42 states are given,” President of the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Tom King said, as reported by NY1.

Robert Nash, one of the petitioners in this case, requested a license to carry a handgun in public for self-defense purposes, according to the Petition for Writ of Certiorari. He’d cited a string of recent robberies in his neighborhood as grounds for his self-defense purposes. He was denied a permit because he failed to show “proper cause.”
Brendan Koch, the other petitioner, also applied for a concealed carry license for self-defense. He referred to his lengthy background in safely handling and operating firearms and his many completed safety training courses but was denied because he failed to show “proper cause,” like Nash.

New York’s concealed carry restrictions are far too restrictive.

As of 2017, approximately 88,205 New Yorkers possessed concealed carry permits, which means roughly 0.6% of the state’s adult population was approved for such a permit, Guns to Carry reported.

Based on the petitions Nash, Koch and the Petition for Writ of Certiorari filed, it is clear that although more people want to obtain permits, the state will not let them.

The grounds on which the state objects permit applications are incredibly vague. Simply rejecting a request because that one does not provide “proper cause” for obtaining a weapon can mean anything. It is simply up to the government to decide.

This practice is wrong because it prevents people from exercising their constitutional rights to “keep and bear arms” and grants government workers far too much room in deciding who gets a permit.

Moreover, legal precedent is against New York’s concealed carry law.

In District of Columbia v. Heller, the Supreme Court found a Washington, D.C., ban on registering handguns and a requirement to keep registered guns in the home were unconstitutional. The decision included the obvious concept that to “keep arms” means to “have weapons” and to “bear arms” means to “carry weapons” for “confrontation.”

The Supreme Court’s decision in McDonald v. Chicago, affirmed that the rights declared to “keep and bear arms” laid out in the Second Amendment apply to all states due to the Fourteenth Amendment’s privileges and immunities and due process clauses. New York cannot simply ignore this ruling and that of Heller.

With crime rates rising, especially in New York City, it would be beneficial to the peoples’ safety to carry weapons to prevent themselves from being victims of crimes. When one has a gun, they can fire back and defend themselves, rather than becoming another statistic in the city’s database.

However, disgraced New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo disagrees, calling the initiative “abhorrent.”

“The streets of New York are not the O.K. Corral, and the NRA’s dream of a society where everyone is terrified of each other and armed to the teeth is abhorrent to our values,” Cuomo said, according to NBC News.

Law-abiding citizens carrying guns is essential to safety, not abhorrent. Exercising one’s constitutionally guaranteed rights is not abhorrent.

The Supreme Court is set to listen to arguments surrounding New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc., et al., in the fall. Hopefully, the Supreme Court upholds the peoples’ rights to keep and bear arms and strikes down New York’s unconstitutional restrictions on concealed carry permits.