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SCOTUS will decide whether Constitution protects carrying guns outside the home

New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc. v. Corlett, USSC No. 20-843, Cert. granted 4/26/2021; Scotusblog page (containing links to briefs and commentary)

Question presented:

Whether the state of New York’s denial of petitioners’ applications for concealed-carry licenses for self-defense violated the Second Amendment.

That’s a narrower QP than the petition offered: the Court’s grant pruned it from

Whether the Second Amendment allows the government to prohibit ordinary law-abiding citizens from carrying handguns outside the home for self-defense.

New York, like some other states, has a concealed-carry permit system, but not just anybody can get a permit: you have to show a special need for self-protection (or some other justification) to qualify. With the grant, the Court has agreed to decide, at minimum, whether this system violated the constitutional rights of the two petitioners here.

Wisconsin’s concealed-carry law–Wis. Stat. § 175.60–doesn’t contain this type of limitation, so it’s fairly likely the decision in this case won’t directly alter the state’s legal landscape. But our law does have some restrictions: you have to be at least 21, for example, and you have to prove you’ve received firearms training. The above-noted limitation of the question presented suggests the Court isn’t about to make a broad pronouncement about the scope of the Second Amendment in this case; what it shows about the views of the justices may nevertheless provide hints about future challenges.


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