Supreme Court to discuss case that could expand Second Amendment rights
March 23, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.
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BOULDER, CO - MARCH 22: Tactical police units respond to the scene of a King Soopers grocery store after a shooting on March 22, 2021 in Boulder, Colorado. Dozens of police responded to the afternoon shooting in which at least one witness described three people who appeared to be wounded, according to published reports. (Photo by Chet Strange/Getty Images)
When Supreme Court justices meet behind closed doors Friday, a conference that comes three days after the country's latest mass shooting, they are scheduled to discuss whether to add a blockbuster issue to the docket for next term: the scope of the Second Amendment.
(CNN)When Supreme Court justices meet behind closed doors Friday, a conference that comes three days after the country's latest mass shooting, they are scheduled to discuss whether to add a blockbuster issue to the docket for next term: the scope of the Second Amendment.
The court has largely dodged the issue since issuing two landmark opinions in 2008 and 2010, when it held for the first time that the Second Amendment protects an individual's right to keep and bear arms at home for self- defense.
Gun rights advocates and even some of the justices themselves have expressed frustration that the court has declined to further define the scope of the right as lower courts across the country have upheld restrictions.
Three years ago, for example, Justice Clarence Thomas charged that the "Second Amendment is a disfavored right in this court. "
Justice Brett Kavanaugh, after the court effectively dismissed one case last term, wrote that he hoped that the justices would vote to take up a new case "soon. " Still, last June, perhaps with the knowledge that there weren't five votes ready to decide, the court again declined to take up several new cases.
The new case concerns a New York law governing licenses to carry concealed handguns in public.
According to the Giffords Law Center, although most states continue to require a permit in order to carry a concealed weapon, many states now place few or no restrictions on open carry.
In the remaining states, people are generally allowed to openly carry firearms although some states require a permit or license to do so.
"The law is consistent with the historical scope of the Second Amendment and directly advances New York's compelling interests in public safety and crime prevention," New York Attorney General Letitia James wrote in court papers.
Since the 2008 and 2010 rulings, James argued, courts have held that the right to carry firearms in pubic is not unlimited and can be subject to regulatory measures consistent "with longstanding limitations on that right. " Lower courts upheld the state's restriction.
Clement urged the justices to step in, arguing that the "single most important unresolved Second Amendment question" is whether an individual has a right to bear arms for self-defense "where confrontations often occur: outside the home. "