Gun Lobby Challenge Dismissed; New York Concealed Carry Law Allowed to Stand by Federal Appeals Court
(Washington, D.C.) – Thanks to a ruling Tuesday by a unanimous panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, New York’s gun laws will continue to be determined by New Yorkers, and their democratically-elected representatives. The Court rejected the gun lobby’s request to strike down New York’s strong laws restricting the carrying of concealed weapons in public, and find a broad Constitutional right to carry loaded guns in public. The Brady Center assisted the State of New York in defending the law.
The Court ruled that the U.S. Supreme Court’s recognition of a Second Amendment right to bear arms in the home for self-defense still allows for broad restrictions on the carrying of concealed weapons. This ruling is the latest in a string of court decisions rejecting gun lobby arguments that the Second Amendment provides a broad right to carry guns in public, and recognizing that Americans retain the right to keep guns off their streets and public places. The gun lobby and gun criminals have brought more than 500 legal challenges to gun laws since the Supreme Court’s Second Amendment ruling in 2008 in District of Columbia v. Heller, and the courts have overwhelmingly rejected those challenges.
“The courts have ruled yet again that the Second Amendment allows Americans to adopt common sense laws that protect their safety,” said the Brady Center’s President Dan Gross. “Most Americans, gun owners and non-gun owners alike, understand that the Second Amendment in no way conflicts with the right of Americans to keep deadly weapons off our streets and out of our parks and playgrounds. We as a nation are better than 32 gun murders a day, and 100,000 shootings a year. This decision by the courts is precisely what will help make us the safer nation Americans want and deserve.”
New York generally prohibits concealed carrying of handguns unless a person obtains a license and shows “proper cause” to be armed in public, including carrying a handgun for target practice, hunting, or self-defense. New York’s strong laws restricting guns in public have helped New York achieve one of the lowest gun death rates in America, less than half the national average.
In this case, Kachalsky v. County of Westchester, the Second Circuit properly recognized: “There is a longstanding tradition of states regulating firearm possession and use in public because of the dangers posed to public safety,” and affirmed the law because of New York’s “substantial, indeed compelling, governmental interests in public safety and crime prevention.”
The mission of the Brady organization is to create a safer America for all of us that will lead to the dramatic reduction in gun deaths and injuries that we all seek.
Dan Gross is the President of the Brady Campaign and the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence.
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