The U.S. Supreme Court hasn’t issued a major gun-rights decision in more than a decade. That is about to change. In its next term, the high court will hear a major new Second Amendment dispute, agreeing to use a New York case to consider whether the government must let most people carry a handgun in public for self-defense.
Do you have an inherent right to self defense?
The justices said they will take up an appeal by a National Rifle Association affiliate and two people who say the state is violating their constitutional rights by issuing concealed-carry licenses only to those who can show a special need for protection.
Should you have to show a special need? Is that even legal?
The case, which the court will consider in the nine-month term that starts in October, will put the justices in the middle of one of the country’s most fractious debates. It will pit people who see public gun possession as a matter of self-defense and individual freedom against others who say the result will be more crime and reduced public safety.
New York is one of eight states -- along with California, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Maryland, Rhode Island, Delaware and Hawaii -- that the National Rifle Association says prevent most people from getting a carry license. Illinois and the District of Columbia also had sharp restrictions before their laws were invalidated in court.
The Supreme Court in June refused to take up challenges to the New Jersey, Massachusetts and Maryland laws. That was before Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death and Trump’s successful nomination of Justice Amy Coney Barrett strengthened the court’s conservative majority. Four justices must agree for the court to take up a case.
Second amendment lawyer and criminal defense lawyer Russ Richeslsoph explains what is at stake as the Supremes consider overturning a law that has been in place since 1913. Perhaps settling on a major scale whether you have the right to self defense.