The United States Supreme Court declined to hear a case that would partially determine whether the carrying of concealed weapons is a right granted by the constitution or something that can be decided at the state level. The issue of gun violence is a growing issue across America, and though the Supreme Court did not hear this particular case, several similar cases are coming up through lesser courts, and at least one of them is expected to be heard by the Court.
The New York Times reports that, on Monday, the Supreme Court justices turned down a case disputing a New York State law that requires those seeking permits for the carrying of concealed weapons in public to be able to demonstrate a special need for self-protection. The New York State law was upheld in the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. The justices gave no reason for declining to hear the case.
In December, United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh circuit, in Chicago, ruled on a similar law in Illinois, which was an outright ban on the carrying of guns in public. The Illinois law was struck down, and Judge Richard A. Posner, writing for the majority, explained that the ruling was required based on District of Columbia v. Heller, a previous Supreme Court case in which the District of Columbia attempted to prohibit guns from being kept in homes as self-defense.
Judge Posner also said “The Supreme Court made clear in Heller that it wasn’t going to make the right to bear arms depend on casualty counts.”
The case that was turned down by the Supreme Court was Kachalsky v. Cacace, and was brought to the courts by five New York residents that had been denied permits to carry handguns. The defendants in the case are four New York state judges who also serve as licensing officers.
New York State attorney general Eric T. Schniederman, who argued the case in the lower courts, released a statement on the case, saying “New York State has enacted sensible and effective regulations of concealed handguns, and this decision keeps those laws in place. This is a victory for families across New York who are rightly concerned about the scourge of gun violence that all too often plagues our communities.” In defending the New York State judges named in the case, Schniederman said that the “proper cause” provision in the New York law did not violate the Second Amendment as described by the Supreme Court.