The Supreme Court’s streak of avoiding Second Amendment cases was broken on Monday, as justices granted cert in a case called New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Corlett. For over a month now, the Court had been considering whether or not to accept a challenge to New York’s concealed carry licensing laws, but in the meantime SCOTUS has turned away several other cases dealing with the right to keep and bear arms. Many gun owners had been growing increasingly frustrated with what they see as the Court’s reluctance to address the issue, even with what’s supposed to be a solid majority in favor of protecting the right to both keep and bear arms.
That frustration has likely turned to elation for many of those gun owners, with the Court accepting the case today and determining that it will decide the question of “whether the State’s denial of petitioners’ applications for concealed-carry licenses for self-defense violated the Second Amendment.”
That question is worded slightly different than the one posed by the plaintiffs, which asked the Court to decide “whether the Second Amendment allows the government to prohibit ordinary law-abiding citizens from carrying handguns outside the home for self-defense,” but the core question still remains: are the rights of average, everyday citizens violated by the state’s discretionary “may issue” laws that don’t recognize self-defense as a valid reason to carry.
The Court’s acceptance of this case is going to lead to a meltdown by many on the Left. Expect court-packing rhetoric to grow red hot from the likes of Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse and other anti-gun Democrats who’ve been threatening the Court with “restructuring” if it took a Second Amendment-related case for well over a year now. Gun control groups have also leaned in on the idea of packing the Court full of anti-gun justices, and they’ll likely be beating the drum for Democrats to nuke the filibuster and pack the Court to either prevent or overturn a decision that strikes down New York’s draconian “may-issue” laws.
Besides New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Corlett, the Court also had the chance to weigh in on another case dealing with a prohibited person seeking to regain their rights. Unlike last week, when justices turned away three cases dealing with non-violent felons hoping to have their rights restored, this week the justices considered a case in which a man who was involuntarily committed more than 20 years ago when he was 17-years old is trying to get his right to keep and bear arms returned to him.
Duy Mai had his rights restored at the state level back in 2014, but the federal prohibition on his gun ownership remains in effect. In his cert petition, Mai and his attorneys argued that the continued and permanent deprivation of his rights, despite the fact that the state where he lives no longer views him as a danger to himself or others, is “unconscionable and cannot withstand Second Amendment scrutiny.”
That case was denied cert by the Court today, which is disappointing, but the far bigger news is the acceptance of New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Corlett. We’ll have more on this developing story coming up later today on Bearing Arms’ Cam & Co, but gun owners can and should be breathing a sigh of relief now that SCOTUS has signaled its willingness to weigh in on the right to bear arms outside the home.