(WASHINGTON, D.C.) — The U.S. Supreme Court will take on a highly contentious case in the following months, which may determine whether Americans have a fundamental right to carry a handgun outside the home for self-defense.
The inclusion of the case comes as the nation is experiencing a surge in fatal mass shootings and incidents of gun violence.
The case being considered by the nation’s highest court is the appeal made by the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association, where two state gun owners challenged New York’s licensing rules that express that concealed carry permits — the ability to possess a firearm outside the home — may only be granted to those with “proper cause.”
The case will be head by the nine-member U.S. Supreme Court during its next term, which commences in October. With the court leaning more conservative paired with the fact justices have not issued a major gun-rights ruling in over a decade — gun advocates and opponents will be intently watching the proceedings.
“The time has come for this Court to resolve this critical constitutional impasse and reaffirm the citizens’ fundamental right to carry a handgun for self-defense,” wrote the plaintiffs in their court brief. “The text, history, and tradition of the Second Amendment and this Court’s binding precedents compel the conclusion that the Second Amendment does indeed secure that right.”
As for gun safety advocates, Hannah Shearer, director of litigation at Giffords Law Center, said, “Today’s announcement is a warning sign that our nation’s highest court is poised to brush aside the will of the people and instead side with gun lobby groups seeking to eliminate even the most modest firearm laws.”
It is estimated that over 18 million Americans have concealed handgun permits, which is up 300 percent since 2007, according to John R. Lott at the Crime Prevention Research Center.
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