Political Science Expert Discusses Upcoming Supreme Court Judgment on Arms Restrictions

One case expected to attract attention before the Supreme Court this summer will be the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association, Inc. against Bruen. In this case, the court will decide whether the refusal in the state of New York of the petitioners’ applications for licenses for concealed carrying in self-defense violates the Second Amendment. More broadly, the court will consider rejecting a New York state law that restricts people’s ability to carry weapons in public.

New York is currently requiring people to demonstrate that they have a specific need to carry a gun in a public place. However, based on questions asked by some of the conservative judges, it seems that they may consider repealing the law.

“I think the Second Amendment is one of the worst parts of the Constitution,” said Rob Robinson, an associate professor of political science. “Look at him. “A well-regulated militia, which is necessary for the security of the free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, must not be violated.”

“There are two interpretations: The first interpretation is that the states feared a tyrannical federal government that might try to disarm their state militias. The Second Amendment can therefore be seen as a guarantee of federalism that states, not federal ones, control and fund militias.

“The second interpretation has similar concerns, but the idea is that individuals, not states, would be the defense mechanism against tyranny, just as people use their freedom of speech or their right to petition to influence politics.

Robinson points out that for most of the country’s history, no one has known which interpretation is correct, and in that sense, no one is particularly interested. That changed in 2008 when the court heard the District of Columbia case against Heller.

Robert Robinson

“The conclusion from this first and only” modern “case of weapons was that the individual model of rights wins. The second amendment is now based on self-defense and that flat gun bans are unconstitutional. Thus, individual rights gain (decision 5-4) on the basis of self-defense.

“However, Judge Antonin Skalia said that not all provisions on weapons are unconstitutional,” he continued. He said: “In our opinion, nothing should be taken to call into question the long-standing bans on the possession of firearms by criminals and the mentally ill or laws banning the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings.”

This raised the question: how should the lower courts evaluate the laws that regulate weapons but do not prohibit them?

New York has passed a law on concealed carrying, but people must show “the right reason” to get a license.

“So the court will determine if this is a constitutional state restriction on gun rights,” Robinson said. “Heller is not very helpful here as a precedent, as it only concerns home ownership.

“One of the questions is how wide is the scope of the Second Amendment? Does it entitle you to carry a weapon outside the home? If so, what is its scope? What standard will protect it? Did the New York petition violate the Second Amendment?

“In this case, the petitioner for arms rights (Bruen) claims that the Second Amendment gives citizens the right to wear it in public, that the petition process is too strict for self-defense and that the process is discriminatory.

“The respondent (New York) claims that we have a long history of states regulating public service, that guns in public are bad for freedom of speech and security, that arguments for self-defense are weaker in public, and that federalism is good ( let the states decide).

“I predict that New York will lose,” Robinson said. The question is, will they lose a little or a lot? How far will the court go with this case?

“The court could say that New York’s decision on the ‘right cause’ is too vague or arbitrary to uphold, but does not lay down a broader rule on gun rights. Or it can use the case to launch a standard or test that states must meet to regulate firearms in a number of contexts.

Robinson is uncertain as to whether the recent mass shootings, especially at Uwalde Elementary School in Texas, could affect the court’s ruling. “I guess the majority will think something like ‘Our job is to interpret the Constitution, not worry about politics.’ If all the mass shootings so far haven’t affected their thinking, I don’t think another one will upset the balance. “

However, he noted that given the firestorm, which could provoke a strong opinion on gun rights, the court may have decided to postpone the announcement of the case now.

“Again, these types of cases are usually released at the very end of the term, however.”

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