Despite New York having some of the most restrictive gun control laws in the country, the case of New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen, which is currently before the Supreme Court, may loosen or eliminate gun regulations in many parts of the country.
Anyone who supports the Second Amendment and wants to see draconian, abusive laws limiting concealed carry or the right to self-defense stricken down should be on the edge of their seats. For far too long, politicians have created a patchwork of regulation and spewed the same tired arguments about why the populace cannot be trusted with firearms.
The argument that the Second Amendment ends at your doorstep, that you do not need, or have, a right to protect yourself beyond your home, has been forced upon law-abiding gun owners and used as the justification for regulating the right to self-defense. Finally, the Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case that has the potential to bring concealed carry to millions of additional gun owners.
The High Court is expected to hear New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen on November 3, 2021. Court watchers and prognosticators alike will be watching closely with bated breath. Second Amendment organizations and anti-gunners will both use the case for fearmongering and fundraising, but that is to be expected, and so long as those efforts do not sway the opinions of the Justices, who cares?
The unfortunate reality is that we will have to wait until mid-2022 to learn how the Court will rule and how politicians pivot in reaction to the decision. The case will determine whether New York’s restriction on carrying concealed handguns in public places is unconstitutional. The implications get a bit deeper than that, but we will cover the details later in the article and a second installment.
A win for Second Amendment plaintiffs could be far reaching and loosen or eliminate gun regulations in many parts of the country. Although I am not a Second Amendment scholar, I pretend to be one on blogs and I slept in a Motel 6 once, so let me explain what’s at stake and how it could affect millions of current and future gun owners.
New York and Gun Control
As the records seem to suggest, shortly after John Moses Browning’s soon-to-be iconic 1911 pistol was first introduced to the market, New York experienced an increase in homicides. Politicians and others ran around proclaiming the sky was falling, and, as politicians often do, they looked for a villain to shift the blame to — i.e. make it look like they had done something to curb the problem but not lose votes by calling out a particular race or sect. Then, the Eureka! moment hit — they did not need to blame anyone; they could blame the guns. After all, guns don’t get a vote. Thus, the permitting system to address the carrying of concealed firearms in New York was born (or something like that).
Inexplicably, this hairbrained idea is still in existence. Eleven decades later, law-abiding gun owners seeking to carry a concealed handgun for self-defense in the state of New York have to file a permit application showing what the law calls “proper cause.”
Beyond that, the madness continues. Applicants must “demonstrate a special need for self-protection distinguishable from that of the general community.” I think I missed that part of the Second Amendment where you had to have a special reason to want to keep from being killed or suffering great bodily injury (more than your neighbor) before the Second Amendment kicked in.
New York law makers have repeatedly defended the state’s right to impose such restrictions by claiming the laws are necessary to reduce gun violence. New York’s homicide rate is typically below the national average, which lawmakers often link to having some of the strictest gun laws in the country. The facts are true, but it is not hard to disprove the supposed correlation between them.
For example, historically, more ice cream is sold during the month of July than any other month. The homicide rate is also highest in July. Therefore, should we suppose that law makers need to restrict ice cream sales to lower the homicide rate?
A correlation between two or more facts does not prove the conclusion to be true. Look at cities such as Chicago, New Orleans, Detroit, and others, and you’ll easily discover the same overly restrictive firearms laws as New York. However, despite the additional gun laws, these same cities suffer from higher-than-average homicide rates.
Robert Nash and Brandon Koch were each denied an unrestricted concealed carry permit in New York because a judge determined they did not satisfy New York’s proper-cause standard.
Perhaps I should step back and lay some groundwork by means of an explanation. It seems lawmakers in New York practice a special kind of stupid that most of us are simply unprepared for. I am not talking about the “head scratcher or the thing that is befuddling and makes you say huh?” but the full-on “WTF were they thinking?” kind of stupid. You see, New York has “restricted” and “unrestricted” concealed carry permits.
Koch was issued a license to carry a concealed handgun for self-defense while traveling to and from work. The permits issued to Koch and Nash also permitted them to carry concealed handguns for hunting, target practice, and for self-defense but…wait for it…in areas not “frequented by the general public.”
It seems New York is fine with you carrying a gun where no one can see it but only when no one is around to see it in the first place. Far be it that rapists, muggers, murders, etc. should have to worry about whether their victims are armed — when potential witnesses are also around.
This case will boil down to simple logic — something that has eluded New York’s lawmakers thus far. Nash and Koch contend that the limitations on their ability to carry a concealed handgun violate their right to bear arms. They are asserting that the right to carry a handgun must extend to “whenever and wherever” the need for self-defense might arise. Surely, you can you see why that concept would be hard for New York’s lawmakers to comprehend.
Be sure to check out tomorrow’s continuation article: The Heller Ruling’s Role in Bruen.