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Supreme Court Reviewing New York Gun Law

The Supreme Court will be reviewing a Second Amendment case for the first time in over a decade. The law in question will set extremely strict limits on who can carry a gun outside of their house. In this case, State Attorney General Letitia James will be representing New York.

The last Second Amendment ruling the Supreme Court has seen was in 2008. The majority ruled that a person has the right to keep a gun in their home for self-defense in District of Columbia v. Heller. Since this case, the Supreme Court has turned down several Second Amendment appeals.

This 2021 case will decide if states and the federal government have the right to impose strict gun control laws.  New York holds some of the strictest gun laws in this country, seeing that New Yorkers need to apply for a license to carry a concealed handgun in public. They have to show proper cause when applying for a concealed carry license. However, New York is not alone in these laws; New Jersey, Massachusetts, and California also have similar laws. This new case is a challenge to this gun law following two men who were denied licenses. These men sued along with the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association. They claim that “the state makes it virtually impossible for the ordinary law-abiding citizen to obtain a license.”

Tom King, who is president of the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association said, “We decided that we were going to try to change that and make sure that New York state residents who want a pistol permit or a concealed carry permit are given the same protections under the law that everybody else in the other 42 states are given,” King explained.

The Supreme Court agreed to answer the following question: “whether the state’s denial of petitioners’ applications for concealed-carry licenses for self-defense violated the Second Amendment.”

Governor Andrew Cuomo said, “This NRA-backed case is a massive threat to that security. Imagine someone carrying a gun through Times Square, onto the subway, or to a tailgate outside of a Bills game. The NRA’s goal here is to shift the onus onto regular New Yorkers, police officers, security guards, and first responders to determine whether an armed individual poses a threat or is simply carrying for self-defense. The streets of New York are not the O.K. Corral, and the NRA’s dream of a society where everyone is terrified of each other and armed to the teeth is abhorrent to our values.”

Gov. Cuomo vowed that the state would fight the case, New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Corlett.

The Supreme court will hear this case at the state of their next term. The start of the Supreme Court’s next term begins the first Monday of October.


Kevin T. Conway has over 30 years of experience as a Spring Valley criminal attorney handling DUI, DWI, traffic violations, violent crimes, sex crimes, illegal gun possession, shoplifting, and juvenile crimes. Attorney Conway is also experienced in commercial law matters, zoning law, and estate planning. If you need a Rockland County criminal lawyer, contact our Spring Valley office for a free consultation.

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