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What the US Supreme Court Won’t do for Our Right to Bear Arms

October 15, 2021

State legislators denied the ordinary person the right to bear arms in New York. That decision was upheld in state and lower courts. In New York City, the “privilege” to defend yourself with a firearm in public is only given to a select few. You need not apply unless you are an ex-law enforcement officer, a judge, a politicians, or an elite celebrity. That privilege is paid for with political power or campaign donations. Remember that the bill of rights is designed to limit the actions of government. Big government politicians turned that on its head so they could sell our rights back to a select few of us at exorbitant prices. Now, the US Supreme court will decide if the second amendment is a real right or only a forgettable footnote in the bill of rights.

State Flag of New York

The Supreme Court’s decision won’t change the laws in New York, let alone change the similar laws in California, Delaware, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Rhode Island. The court decision, at most, might say that the New York law is unconstitutional and infringes on the right to bear arms. The ruling might give guidance on the level of scrutiny to use when judges decide carry-permit cases in the lower courts. There is no guarantee that the New York state legislature will follow the spirit of the decision. The law they write might have to be litigated again if it also infringes on the right of ordinary citizens to bear arms. That court fight takes years if not decades.

The constitution does not enforce itself. At best, an expansive reading of the right to bear arms by the Supreme Court will allow advocates to bring suit in other states. They can challenge existing laws one at a time. Our reading of the decision may indicate that laws in New Jersey are unconstitutional, but our opinion doesn’t matter. It is the opinion of judges at the district, appellate and circuit level that matters. We’ve already seen these judges ignore Supreme Court cases that support the right to bear arms like Heller and McDonald. At best, a favorable ruling might give us another tool in our appeals, but our rights are not secure.

The New York legislature might take parts of the most objectionable laws from other states and claim that their new permitting scheme satisfy the court’s ruling. The legislature has already returned criminals to the streets of our inner cities. Through expensive fees and bureaucratic delays, they might again deny ordinary citizens the right of armed defense in public in the name of “public safety” and “protecting vulnerable minorities”. The people most at risk from violent crime are poor minority women in our inner cities. They could again be disarmed by progressive politicians, by activist judges, and by a complicit press.

Even a favorable inclined supreme court only takes a fraction of one percent of the cases that are submitted for review. This case is another step to protect our right to bear arms, but it is not the last step. We’ve seen activist judges and politicians ignore the law before. I expect them to do so again.


“Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end.
 But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.”

Winston Churchill


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16 Comments leave one →
  1. Jim Simpson permalink
    October 21, 2021 10:27 pm

    There’s a couple things you’re leaving out here.

    First, we don’t know exactly how the Supreme Court will rule in our favor. It could go any of several ways in our favor. For example:

    1) A ruling that may issue is unconstitutional on its face however state or local authorities can in theory do background checks and require training to get a permit to carry. In other words, this variant preserves shall issue as constitutionally permissable.

    2) States can do whatever they want with concealed carry laws, even including may issue or zero issue, as long as loaded open carry is still legal. This would be in line with the six cases cited positively as dicta in Heller at footnote 9, and the way the Ohio Supreme Court went in 2003 in the Klein case. (That decision by the way led to huge open carry rallies around every government building they could find across Ohio in big happy well-armed laps in which they annoyed their way into a concealed carry permit in 2004 in Ohio.)

    I consider possibility one more likely but number two is not off the table and would lead to massive numbers of strapped gun folk in Times Square and other such locations :). And then half the NYPD dies of apoplexy.

    But if number one happens, well then it gets very interesting because we don’t actually need changes in law.

    Consider California: sheriffs handle most of the permit applications. That doesn’t change. They just cannot do a subjective analysis of each applicant. The Supreme Court just said so. If they still try, guess what, with a nationally known Supreme Court decision on tap THEY DON’T HAVE QUALIFIED IMMUNITY IF THEY SCREW IT UP.

    This is the case in all of the remaining states with may issue permits! The existing permit programs would not vanish but would immediately turn into shall issue programs.

    It gets better. Let’s take California again. They have a statutory 90 day period to process the application. Right now it is widely ignored, because everybody knows if you complain about it, they can just go tell you to screw off and decide that you clearly are not of good moral character if you’re going to go around and complain about police misdeeds.

    Well with the subjective standards gone, we damned well can complain about the 90 day statutory limit.

    It’s going to be very interesting very quickly. We also don’t know just how firm a statement on a right to carry is going to be and whether that defined right will affect cross-border carry between states.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. October 22, 2021 10:45 am

    Cite as: 577 U. S. ____ (2016) 1
    Per Curiam
    No. 14–10078. Decided March 21, 2016

    This sort of destroys the anti gunners considering 6-3 decided that the 2nd protects ALL forms of weapons and the ammo and add ons if it effect how the weapon operates. Add in the haer decision that says this is a personal right and that should end this once and for all


    • October 22, 2021 10:46 am

      Sorry I meant Haller decision, I just had shoulder surgery and am still getting my hand and fingers back to normal



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