U.S.A. –-(AmmoLand.com)- After an eternally long hiatus the U.S. Supreme Court will take up a Second Amendment case. And it is only right this case should come out of New York after the Court majority’s disastrous handling of the “gun transport” case, N.Y. State Rifle & Pistol Ass’n v. City of New York, 140 S. Ct. 1525 (2020).
As you may recall, The Petitioners in the “gun transport” case challenged a New York City rule pertaining to the transport of handguns outside the home. The Federal District Court and U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, routinely ruling for the Government on Second Amendment matters, rejected the claim. Petitioners appealed. The U.S. Supreme Court granted review.
Stunned by the High Court granting review, and evidently knowing that the New York City law violates the Second Amendment guarantee, and aware, too, that a finding on the merits against the government would have negative repercussions extending far beyond the confines of the City and State of New York, the anti-Second Amendment forces attempted to waylay a certain reversal. The State of New York amended its firearm licensing Statute, and the City amended its rule so petitioners could henceforth transport their firearms to a second home or shooting range.
The gambit paid off. It gave Chief Justice Roberts the excuse he needed to side with the radical left-wing of the Court. But his vote wasn’t enough. Roberts must have cajoled the newest member of the Court, who at the time was Brett Kavanaugh, to play along. It worked. Kavanaugh sided with the majority but wrote a bizarre concurring opinion, ostensibly, to shore up the idea that he does after all support the Bill of the Rights. But does he?
Kavanaugh’s vote gave the Court a five-vote edge to nullify a substantive ruling on the merits which undoubtedly would have gone to the petitioners.
Now, one year after the “gun transport” case was shunted aside and the Court did not take up another 2A case, before the 2020 U.S. Presidential election, the High Court will take up, N.Y. State Rifle & Pistol Ass’n v. Corlett, 140 S. Ct. 1525.
The Corlett case is no trivial Second Amendment case if any Second Amendment case can ever be considered trivial. The implications of Corlett extend far beyond the “gun transport” case even if the Justices agreed to hear the substantive merits of the “gun transport case” because the issue in the gun transport case was directed to the import of the City’s highly restrictive “Premise Residence” and “Premise Business” handgun licenses. But, in Corlett, the High Court must zero in on “good cause” to justify the issuance of a concealed handgun carry license. That is definitely “a horse of a different color” because this issue attacks a central pillar of the New York State firearms licensing scheme.
The New York State and City Governments cannot weasel them out of a hearing on the merits, unlike they did in the “gun transport” case. They can’t simply amend their firearms laws and regulations because doing so would disrupt the entire handgun licensing scheme.
The issue in Corlett strikes at the very heart of Government licensing of firearms both in New York and elsewhere in the U.S.
To obtain a concealed handgun license in New York, an applicant must overcome two hurdles. First, the Applicant must demonstrate he or she does not fall into a disability that precludes him from lawfully owning and possessing any firearm. That hurdle is essentially an objective one. Once over that hurdle, the applicant faces a second hurdle. The applicant must demonstrate “good cause” for the issuance of a concealed carry license. This is a subjective test.
The police licensing official has substantial discretion to grant or deny a concealed handgun carry license. And, since New York traditionally frowns on civilian citizen ownership and possession of firearms, applications for concealed carry handgun licenses are very in number. Most individuals fail to demonstrate “good cause” for obtaining a license.
If a denial is challenged in court, the applicant must point to abuse of discretion by the licensing official, and this, too, is a difficult task.
In Corlett, the petitioner unsuccessfully applied for a concealed handgun carry license in Steuben County, New York. The denial letter of the County judge and handgun licensing officer was general in content and condescending in tone. It read, “‘the decision [was] based upon concerns expressed in the Sheriff’s investigation,’ specifically ‘concerns about your being sufficiently responsible to possess and care for a pistol’ and concerns ‘that your history demonstrates that you place your own interest above the interests of society.’”
Note the barely tacit implication of the denial letter: the interests of the Hive outweigh the interests and needs of the individual. This, in nutshell, describes the nature of the internal war now upon us: the tenets of Collectivism, upon which totalitarianism, is grounded versus the tenets of Individualism, upon which the free Constitutional Republic is grounded.
No less than the Nation’s Bill of Rights itself is on trial. It will be interesting to see how the so-called “Conservative” Chief Justice Roberts will rule on this case, and whether Associate Justice Kavanaugh will follow Roberts’ lead.
How are major newspapers handling the announcement?
Well, one leading newspaper, The Wall Street Journal recognizes the importance, a landmark case that will serve either to strengthen Heller and McDonald or will whittle them down, and wrote about it in today’s newspaper.
Another newspaper, The New York Times is notably silent. Apparently, the newspaper that boasts of reporting “All the News That’s Fit to Print” doesn’t feel that the most important Second Amendment case to be taken up by the U.S. Supreme Court since the seminal Heller and McDonald cases is worth a mention, and notwithstanding this is a New York 2A case that the newspaper refuses to mention in today’s newspaper. But, the paper’s publisher, and editors, and reporters certainly know of it and can’t be happy about it, and at some point, they will not be able to ignore it.
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Supreme Court to Take Up New York Second Amendment Case, At Last! is written by Roger Katz for www.ammoland.com