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Supreme Court agrees to hear first 2nd Amendment case in 10+ years – here’s what is happening

A man holds a handgun. (MaxPixel/Released)
April 26, 2021

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to consider a gun-rights case addressing the extent to which the Second Amendment protects Americans’ right to carry concealed firearms outside the home for self-defense.

NY State Rifle & Pistol Assoc. v. Corlett challenges the New York state requirement that individuals show “proper cause” to carry a gun, a rule that is often cited when applicants are denied the right to carry.

The case marks the first time in over a decade that the nation’s top court has agreed to step into the Second Amendment debate. The last time occurred in 2008 with District of Columbia v. Heller, which determined Americans have a constitutionally protected right to keep a handgun at home for self defense.

Justice Clarence Thomas has criticized his colleagues on the court for their refusal to hear similar cases in the past, saying, “The right to keep and bear arms is apparently this Court’s constitutional orphan.”

The National Rifle Association has asserted that Americans should not be required to prove they are in danger to exercise their Second Amendment rights.

“The Court rarely takes Second Amendment cases. Now it’s decided to hear one of the most critical Second Amendment issues. We’re confident that the Court will tell New York and the other states that our Second Amendment right to defend ourselves is fundamental, and doesn’t vanish when we leave our homes,” said Jason Ouimet, Executive Director of NRA-ILA.

The decision to hear the case comes at a time when Democrats in Congress and President Joe Biden’s administration are pushing for stricter gun laws.

Earlier this month, Biden announced on several gun-control measures that will be enacted by the White House, including regulations on pistol braces, a proposed rule to help stop the growth of homemade “ghost gun” firearms and a federal model for state “red flag” laws.

March 2021 also marked a new single-month record for the number of National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), which also marked the 15th consecutive month of record-breaking background checks.

According to FBI statistics released Thursday, 4,691,738 background checks were performed in March this year, crushing the previous single-month record by more than 300,000.

The jump in background checks could be a result of gun buyers using their stimulus checks to purchase firearms.

“Honestly, last March was absolutely insane,” said Tiffany Teasdale, owner of Lynnwood Gun in Lynnwood, Wash told Forbes. “We had a two-hour wait almost daily to just get into our store.” 

The case will be argued during the court’s next term in the fall.