New York states requirement that gun owners prove they have a
special need for protection in order to obtain a concealed weapons
permit does not violate the Second Amendment right to keep and bear
arms, a federal appeals court ruled Monday.
The three-judge panel unanimously upheld a state law requiring
applicants to prove that theyd received a personal threat or had
some other special need for protection before they would be granted
a permit to carry a concealed firearm in public.
An appeal to the US Supreme Court is expected.
A group of gun owners backed by a major gun rights group
challenged the permit requirement as a violation of their Second
They contended that as law-abiding citizens they should be able
to carry concealed weapons without having to prove to government
officials that they had proper cause to do so.
The gun owners argued that the US Supreme Court established in
landmark decisions handed down in 2008 and 2010 that Americans
possess a fundamental right to keep and bear arms for self
At issue was whether New Yorks 100-year-old concealed permit
requirement violated Second Amendment rights by forcing applicants
to demonstrate a special and individualized need for self protection
apart from simply a general desire to carry a weapon for added
For example, under New York law, living in a high-crime area is
not enough of a threat to entitle a gun owner to be issued a
concealed carry permit.
The three-judge panel of the Second US Circuit Court of Appeals
ruled that the Supreme Courts decisions established a fundamental
right to possess firearms in the home but that that right did not
entitle law-abiding citizens to carry concealed weapons in public
What we know from these [Supreme Court] decisions is that Second
Amendment guarantees are at their zenith within the home, Judge
Richard Wesley wrote for the panel.
What we do not know, he said, is the scope of that right beyond
the home and the standards for determining when and how that right
can be regulated by a government.
The court went on to conclude that the requirement of proof of a
special need for self protection before receiving a permit was
entirely consistent with the right to bear arms and the states
traditional authority to regulate handgun possession in public.
Plaintiffs contend that their desire for self defense is all the
proper cause required by the Second Amendment to carry a firearm,
Judge Wesley wrote.
They reason that the exercise of the right to bear arms cannot be
made dependent on a need for self protection, just as the exercise
of other enumerated rights cannot be made dependent on a need to
exercise those rights, he said. …