The Supreme Court struck down a New York State gun law that required individuals to show “proper cause” to obtain a concealed carry permit Thursday.
The case, New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Keith M. Corlett, centered on two New York residents, Robert Nash and Brandon Koch, who both applied for concealed carry permits in Rensselaer County but were denied by the licensing officer, who said the individuals “failed to show ‘proper cause’ to carry a firearm in public for the purpose of self-defense, because [they] did not demonstrate a special need for self-defense that distinguished [them] from the general public.”
New York bans the open carry of handguns but permits concealed carry so long as the applicant can prove “proper cause” exists. All licenses are issued by either the county sheriff or the court system.
Nash cited a string of robberies as his “proper cause” and noted he completed a firearm safety course. Koch relied on his “extensive experience in the safe handling and operation of firearms and the many safety training courses he had completed.”
The court ruled 6-3 that the “proper-cause requirement violates the Fourteenth Amendment by preventing law-abiding citizens with ordinary self-defense needs from exercising their Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms in public for self-defense.”
Justice Clarence Thomas wrote the majority opinion.
“The constitutional right to bear arms in public for self-defense is not ‘a second-class right, subject to an entirely different body of rules than the other Bill of Rights guarantees,’” the court ruled. “The exercise of other constitutional rights does not require individuals to demonstrate to government officers some special need.”
“The Second Amendment right to carry arms in public for self-defense is no different. New York’s proper-cause requirement violates the Fourteenth Amendment by preventing law-abiding citizens with ordinary self-defense needs from exercising their right to keep and bear arms in public.”
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