U.S.A. –-(AmmoLand.com)- Two national gun rights organizations—the Second Amendment Foundation and its grassroots sibling, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms—have filed separate amicus briefs to the U.S. Supreme Court in support of a challenge of New York State’s ultra-restrictive carry laws by the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association (NYSRPA)
SAF is joined in its brief by several organizations including the New Jersey Second Amendment Society, Buckeye Firearms Foundation, Connecticut Citizens Defense League, Illinois State Rifle Association, Florida Carry, Inc., Grass Roots North Carolina, Louisiana Shooting Association, Tennessee Firearms Association, Maryland Shall Issue, Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus, Sportsmen’s Association for Firearms Education, and Virginia Citizens Defense League.
CCRKBA, on the other hand, filed its own brief individually. The NYSRPA is one of its state affiliates, according to a news release from the group.
“This case has been a long time coming and it would not be an overstatement that SAF has an intense interest because of our many members in New York and elsewhere that so-called ‘proper cause’ requirements are routinely used to deny law-abiding citizens the ability to carrying firearms for personal protection outside their homes,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb. “Such laws are arbitrary in nature and they place an absurd level of authority in the hands of local officials and their subordinates to deny citizens their constitutional right to bear arms.”
Gottlieb also chairs the Citizens Committee, a grassroots national group with some 650,000 members and supporters. In a statement from that organization, he observed, “In an age of reductions in police numbers and increasing violence, people must be able to become their own first responders. Law-abiding armed citizens are as important now as they ever were.”
The case, which was accepted for review by the high court in the upcoming term that begins in October, challenges New York’s restrictive requirement that anyone applying for a permit to carry a handgun outside the home must provide a “proper cause” for wanting to carry a firearm for personal protection. This authority is all-too-often used to deny applicants their right to bear arms under the Second Amendment, CCRKBA said.
It has been more than ten years since the Supreme Court hear a Second Amendment case. The court has declined to review several good gun rights cases, but that was before the majority shifted, with what the establishment media considers a “conservative majority.” Three appointments by former President Donald Trump have encouraged rights activists who have longed to restore Second Amendment rights and reverse the erosion of the right to keep and bear arms by state and local governments. If the court rules against New York, it will open the floodgates for similar challenges of laws in New Jersey, Maryland and a handful of other states where citizens must provide a “good cause” to exercise their constitutional rights.
Speaking on behalf of SAF, Gottlieb stated, “The Second Amendment should no longer be treated like the ugly stepchild of the Bill of Rights. Its language is clear, that the amendment protects not only the right of the individual citizen to keep arms, but to bear them, and that right extends beyond the confines of one’s home.
“A right limited to someone’s home,” he continued, “is no right at all, and the court now has an opportunity to make that abundantly clear, settling an important constitutional issue once and for all.”
But the importance of this case might best be found in the 25-page CCRKBA brief, in which the national grassroots group explains, “The fragility of American civilization has been on full display since the summer of 2020. The Nation is suffering a new period of violence and chaos. This time, however, a variety of radical political movements are advancing policies that seem designed to sow further violence and chaos. In response, Americans are relying on their firearms for self-defense—just as they have for centuries.”
“In short, police are not guarantors of safety,” the brief notes on Page 13. “Rather, they are a distant second to the people themselves when it comes to capacity for preventing crime.
“The American people understand what is happening,” CCRKBA’s brief adds. “They understand that they are responsible for their self-defense, so more of them are arming themselves in response to these conditions. This is an especially important time for the Court to re-affirm that the Second Amendment protects their right to carry firearms for their self-defense.”
There is ample evidence CCRKBA’s assessment is spot-on. Gun sales over the past 15 months have surged. By some estimates, more than 8 million new gun owners—people who never before owned a firearm and may even have supported gun control restrictions—have joined the ranks of armed citizens. The demand for carry licenses or permits is also up.
No date has been set for the NYSR&PA case to be argued.
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