Supreme Court Order on Gun Carry Laws is Donald Trump's Legacy

Amy Coney Barrett is likely to support the Second Amendment right to bear arms without showing 'need'

The right to bear arms -- carry a gun -- will finally be decided by the Supreme Court. This is a huge win for supporters of Second Amendment rights. It shows the new majority with three justices appointed by Pres. Donald Trump likely has the votes to overturn the state laws that require showing proof of need to legally carry a gun outside the home. 

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The highest court announced Monday that it was granting cert for a New York case about conceal carry permits. (It takes four or more justices to take an appeal.)

Pres. Trump’s appointments - Amy Coney Barrett, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh -- are all believed to support Second Amendment rights. So with those three and Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito, the high court would have the five votes needed to overturn the appeals courts that have allowed states to make laws restricting people from carrying a gun outside their homes without showing a “good reason.”

Chief Justice John Roberts is totally unpredictable on conservative principles so it will be interesting to see if he sticks to his guns when he voted with the majority from the Heller decision.

Those of us who have watched these gun control cases for years believed the high court kept refusing to hear a gun carry case because the pro-Second Amendment justices knew they didn’t have the votes to win. 

So Trump deserves all the credit for making the court pro-Second Amendment again. As I wrote earlier today — before this Supreme Court announcement, which freaks me out that it seems I timed this perfectly:

The biggest accomplishment of Donald Trump’s one term was filling the federal courts with conservative judges and getting what many believe is a majority pro-Second Amendment on the Supreme Court. So while it’s inevitable that Biden will enact more gun control executive actions and possibly get it through Congress, those laws will have to then stand up in courts in which the presiding judge was chosen by Donald Trump.

This is the order from the court on agreeing to hear the New York Second Circuit case:

20-843 NEW YORK STATE RIFLE, ET AL. V. CORLETT, KEITH M., ET AL. The petition for a writ of certiorari is granted limited to the following question: Whether the State's denial of petitioners' applications for concealed-carry licenses for self-defense violated the Second Amendment. 

This specific case will determine whether it is constitutional for two New York residents to be denied carry permits by the state police for not being able to demonstrate a  "proper cause.” The New York State Rifle and Pistol Association is backing the case in partnership with the NRA. (Corlett is the superintendent of the police.)

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the state law on “proper cause” as it has done multiple times in the past. The Supreme Court kept refusing to hear appeals.

But there’s a new sheriff in town now and her name is Amy Coney Barrett. 

The case will be the other half of the landmark Heller decision that established the individual right to have a gun -- the interpretation of the right to “keep arms.’  The justice will decide if the right to “bear arms” can be limited by states by showing a need. 

The Court was specific on what it is deciding so it will not go into specifics like carrying without a permit (“constitutional carry”) or training requirements.

The country has been divided into circuit courts that say states can and cannot refuse to let people carry guns outside the home unless they can prove a need, like threats against them or carrying money. 

This is how I got my first carry permit in DC, when the city was briefly “may issue” and I showed that I had a “special danger” (threats against my life) that I could prove. Watch one of my reports from the series I did in 2015 on getting a carry permit in DC here: FOX 5's Emily Miller gets DC gun carry permit approved

Once DC stopped fighting in court -- to prevent getting to SCOTUS and having another Heller situation -- the city became “shall issue” so now anyone can get a permit to carry in DC if you meet the requirements of training, a class with their certified instructors and pass a background check.

When the Supreme Court rules on this New York circuit case, it will then apply to all other circuits that have allowed states to write gun laws to restrict carry outside the home.  The other states that are currently “may issue” on carry permits and will be impacted by this decision are: California, New Jersey, Maryland, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Hawaii, Rhode Island and Pres. Biden’s home state of Delaware.

If the Supremes rule to overturn the New York case, then it will establish that the Second Amendment says that an individual has the right to carry a gun outside the home. This is why it’s the other half of Heller which established the individual right to possess a gun inside the home (“keep arms”).

For Americans who live in the states that have denied their right to bear arms and carry a gun outside the home -- where you’re more likely to be a victim of crime-- the news today from DC may be life changing. 

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