American News Oct 28, 2021 11:24 AM EST

Supreme Court to hear case challenging restrictions on gun permits

If the Supreme Court strikes down the NY law as unconstitutional, it would be the most consequential win for gun-rights activists since 2008.

Supreme Court to hear case challenging restrictions on gun permits
Jarryd Jaeger Vancouver, BC

The issue of restricting gun permits is set to be argued at the US Supreme Court next Wednesday in a case from New York state, where two men who were rejected for permits are taking their complaint to the high court.

In 2016 and 2018, respectively, Robert Nash and Brandon Koch had their requests for unrestricted concealed carry licenses rejected by New York state trial court judge Justice Richard McNally Jr.

In his ruling, Justice McNally cited a 1913 New York law that requires concealed-carry applicants to prove that they have a legitimate need for such a permit; Nash and Koch simply wanted the permit for self-defense.

According to Reuters, Justice McNally defended his use of the law, arguing that it "was intended to grant broad discretion to the local licensing officers," and that it "takes into consideration geography and other factors" when deciding whose applications get accepted or rejected.

Nash and Koch had appealed their verdicts at the 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals, but after having the case thrown out in 2020, they aimed higher, taking it instead to the US Supreme Court.

As Reuters reports, if the Supreme Court strikes down the NY law as unconstitutional, it would be the most consequential win for gun-rights activists since the 2008 ruling in which the right to keep a gun in one's home for self-defense was recognized.

Those on the side of Nash and Koch argue that local officials have too much power when it comes to deciding who gets to have a concealed-carry permit and that their decisions are often arbitrary. Opponents suggest that forgoing any sort of restrictions could allow guns to end up in dangerous hands.

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