Supreme Court passes on Second Amendment test case

The Supreme Court said on Monday that it won’t consider a case that would clarify the right to own a firearm outside the home for lawful purposes such as self-defense.


The petition in the case of Kachalsky v. Cacace asked the Supreme Court to rule on two questions: Does the Second Amendment permit handguns for self-defense outside the home? And, do state officials violate the Second Amendment by denying handgun carry licenses in certain cases?

The writ of certiorari petition for the case was backed by the Second Amendment Foundation. The justices, as the process works at the court, didn’t disclose why they declined to hear the case.

Five New Yorkers brought the case to court after they were denied permits to carry their handguns in public. That state’s law requires people who want to carry a concealed handgun to prove they have a special reason before getting a license.

Alan Gura, an attorney involved with two other gun-related cases that were heard by the court, was on the legal team seeking a date in front of the nine justices. He had publicly said before the court’s decision on Monday that the case was a threat to the Second Amendment.

“The New York law is in complete conflict with the idea that people enjoy a Second Amendment right to bear arms,” Gura said in a pre-decision story from USA Today.

Gura was part of the team that argued the landmark District of Columbia v. Heller case in 2008.

The Heller ruling established that “the Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home.”

That right, however, was not found by the court to be absolute.

In 2010, the court ruled in McDonald v. Chicago that those rights extended to individual states through the 14th Amendment.

The issues of gun rights and gun control are at the forefront of public opinion this week, as the Senate starts debates over proposed gun control legislation after last year’s Sandy Hook shootings.

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