With the debate regarding gun control heating up nationwide, the Supreme Court may be hearing a case in the near future regarding the carrying of guns outside of homes. This really comes as no surprise given that congress and state legislatures nationwide have been grappling over this issue for quite some time. On Monday the Supreme Court of the United States may decide whether the Second Amendment extends outside of the home. Currently there is a challenge to a New York law, similar to that of 10 other states, that requires citizens to have “proper cause” in order to carry a weapon in public.
The Court is bound to weigh in sometime soon on gun control issues, but whether it grants the petition from New York, we will have to wait and see. Lower federal courts seem to be split on this issue so "It's only a matter of time before the court decides whether people have a right to carry guns in public," says Adam Winkler, a
UCLA law professor and author of Gunfight: The Battle over the Right to Bear Arms in America. "This is the biggest unanswered question about the Second Amendment."
Potential Federal Regulations to Address Gun Control
With various state lawmakers requesting more stringent gun control laws, specifically following the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton Connecticut recently, there will most certainly be a push for review from the higher court. 17 states have passed more stringent gun control regulations since Sandy Hook, and currently Congress is considering federal regulations to address the issue of gun control.
2008 was the last time SCOTUS grappled with the second amendment in its decision of District of Columbia v Heller, which upheld the right to bear arms in the home for self-defense purposes, but it seems that outside of that there is room for further clarification.
"Nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms," Justice Antonin Scalia wrote for the court's 5-4 majority. But Heller was not the end all be all on the second amendment, as evidenced by the current New York law in question.
Scalia on Gun Control
Recently Justice Scalia was asked about the comparison of the right to bear arms being as unequivocal as the right to free speech under the first amendment, to which he replied, "We're going to find out, aren't we?" So perhaps the Court will be hearing second amendment cases in the near future.
"There are doubtless limits (on gun rights), but what they are, we will see," Scalia said.
So stay tuned to see if the Court accepts this highly controversial case. It seems that if the New York case doesn’t go up, there will surely be another case that SCOTUS will take up.
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