by Jon Guze
Senior Fellow, Legal Studies, John Locke Foundation
If you’re interested in the Second Amendment, that is. Yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court announced that it will hear oral arguments in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. Bruen on November 3rd. Here are the statement of the case and the question presented from the Court’s website:
New York prohibits its ordinary law-abiding citizens from carrying a handgun outside the home without a license, and it denies licenses to every citizen who fails to convince the state that he or she has “proper cause” to carry a firearm. In District of Columbia v. Heller, this Court held that the Second Amendment protects “the individual right to possess and carry weapons in case of confrontation,” 554 U.S. 570, 592 (2008), and in McDonald v. City of Chicago, the Court held that this right “is fully applicable to the States,” 561 U.S. 742, 750 (2010). For more than a decade since then, numerous courts of appeals have squarely divided on this critical question: whether the Second Amendment allows the government to deprive ordinary law-abiding citizens of the right to possess and carry a handgun outside the home. This circuit split is open and acknowledged, and it is squarely presented by this petition, in which the Second Circuit affirmed the constitutionality of a New York regime that prohibits law-abiding individuals from carrying a handgun unless they first demonstrate some form of “proper cause” that distinguishes them from the body of “the people” protected by the Second Amendment. 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.
The question presented is:
Whether the Second Amendment allows the government to prohibit ordinary law- abiding citizens from carrying handguns outside the home for self- defense.
There’s been lot of speculation about how the various justices will rule in this potentially landmark case. Nobody really knows, of course, but we may get some insight by the questions they ask on 11/3.