Second Amendment: Proper Cause

The Flag Staff Contributor
Second Amendment: Proper Cause
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Second Amendment: Deliberation over whether the Second Amendment grants Americans the ability to openly carry guns outside of the home has reached the Supreme Court. Here’s what both sides are saying. To have stories like this and more delivered directly to your inbox, be sure to sign up for our newsletter.

Top Story: Second Amendment

Gun rights and the second amendment were in focus at the Supreme Court on Wednesday. The question at hand: does the second amendment end at your doorstep? Tom King, president of the New York Rifle and Pistol Association thinks the answer is no. While the Supreme Court has said the Constitution gives Americans the right to bear arms at home, gun rights advocates believe that should apply when you leave the house as well. King’s group is suing New York on behalf of two members who were denied unlimited concealed carry. Currently New York’s 108-year-old handgun-licensing law requires anyone who wants a license to carry a concealed handgun to show “proper cause”, Amy Howe writes for SCOTUSBlog. “Courts in New York have defined ‘proper cause’ to require applicants to show a special need to defend themselves, rather than simply wanting to protect themselves or their property.” Gun control advocates argue that limits on concealed carry are absolutely essential in order to protect “the right to live,” Kris Brown, president of the advocacy group Brady, said. “It’s about our ability as Americans to leave home to go to church, to go to synagogue, and actually not to fear being shot.” The court’s final ruling likely won’t come until next summer but here’s what both sides are saying about initial reactions.

On The Left

Left-leaning commentators are not super optimistic about what they heard on Wednesday. Given the Supreme Court’s conservative majority they believe gun rights will be expanded. More than a few wish Conservatives would follow their own advice and leave gun rights up to individual states.

“The Supreme Court is poised to make us all live under Texas’ gun laws” Paul Waldman, Washington Post Opinion: On Wednesday, “a few things became clear. First, the court is almost certain to strike down the New York law. All six conservative justices expressed skepticism of New York’s regulation… Second, when the court does so, it will probably for the first time in American history create an individual ‘right’ not just to own guns — which the court established, also for the first time in our history, in 2008 — but to carry them to public places. And third, when they do so they will in effect be taking the gun culture of conservative states and forcing the rest of us to live under it. … What the Supreme Court is poised to do is say to every American: You live in Oklahoma now. People are just going to be carrying guns around. We don’t know precisely how far the court will go in this regard, but it’s obvious they’re going to keep steadily expanding gun rights.”

“The Supreme Court Is Set to Wipe Out a Major Gun-Control Law” Jay Michaelson, NY Mag: “New Yorkers should get used to having a lot more guns on the street. That’s the takeaway from Wednesday’s oral arguments… thanks to decades of lobbying by gun manufacturers and the NRA, legal history was changed in 2008, and advocates of gun control now have to deal with it. Second Amendment rights exist, and with this conservative-dominated Court, they’re only going to expand. … Normally, conservatives love states’ rights, which is why, over the last century, they’ve argued that states should be allowed to maintain segregation, ban abortion, stop people of color from voting, and criminalize being gay. Here, however, despite the obvious fact that states have all sorts of reasons for balancing safety and liberty in different ways, conservatives seek to take some options ‘off the table.'”

“The Supreme Court won’t settle the 2nd Amendment dispute, but it can prevent disaster” Editorial Board, LA Times: “In some parts of the country, people still do use guns to put food on the table, for sport or simply as an attribute of their lifestyle. Gun-toting behavior that would be natural and acceptable in, say, rural Pennsylvania, would be menacing and is wisely prohibited in downtown Los Angeles. For now. In issuing a ruling in the case currently before it, the Supreme Court may well strike down not merely New York’s permit requirements but also California’s, and those of the six other states that reserve the right to grant or deny permits based on the applicant’s reason for wanting one. States have long made their own decisions about how to balance residents’ safety with their gun rights, based on the values expressed by voters at the polls and their representatives in the legislature. … It’s odd to think that those 27 poorly assembled words [of the 2nd Amendment] leave people on all sides of the issue in such fear of one another, when they were intended to keep us free.”

On The Right

Right-leaning commentators are more upbeat given the Supreme Court’s conservative tint. They want the Supreme Court to use this case to clarify vague items from the District of Columbia v. Heller ruling in 2008. In their minds, “clarify” mostly means expanding gun rights including concealed carry.

“The Second Amendment Is for Everybody” Editorial Board, Wall Street Journal: “Regular citizens in New York face an almost insuperable bar if they want to bear a firearm for personal defense. … Applicants must show ‘a special need’ for defense… An impeccable public record doesn’t matter. Neither does extensive firearms training. … This case is about ‘who,’ not ‘where.’ One law-abiding citizen in New York is permitted to carry a gun and another is prohibited. Why? Because some government official decided the first fear was ‘particularized’ and the second was ‘generalized,’ even if sincere. … A win for the gun club, the state claims, will “jeopardize” gun rules in “courthouses, airports, subways, sports arenas, bars, gaming facilities, houses of worship, and schools.” That seems unlikely. The Heller ruling itself was clear not to ‘cast doubt’ on ‘laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings.’ … A Supreme Court corrective that gives more specific weight to its Heller precedent is long overdue.”

Gun rights showdown – Supreme Court case a potential big win for Second Amendment” Jonathan Turley, Fox News Opinion: “The current court membership is arguably the strongest Second Amendment bench in decades. … With lower courts chipping away at its prior precedent, the [Supreme] court seems poised to push back with a case that brings greater clarity and support for the right to bear arms in public. … The court is likely to continue to recognize reasonable limitations, including possibly some location-based limits. However, it may create a clear presumption in favor of law-abiding citizens to bear arms outside of the home. The natural default under the Second Amendment in favor of gun owners is likely to be strengthened.”

“Supreme Court stakes are high this fall for law-abiding people” Tim Schmidt, Washington Examiner: “New York is one of eight states — California, Delaware, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Rhode Island being the others — that still have state laws preventing responsible people from protecting themselves from criminals when outside of their homes. The irony should not be lost that even as these states have some of the most restrictive anti-gun laws in the country, many of their cities, such as Newark, Syracuse, San Bernardino, and Baltimore, still have some of the highest murder rates in the country as well. … Stakes could not be higher for the millions of responsible, law-abiding people who simply want to protect themselves and their families no matter where they are. … This is because more and more people recognize that with crime on the rise, and as helpful and supportive as many of our police officers can be, they cannot be our families’ personal bodyguards. … Responsible, law-abiding people … have that right under the U.S. Constitution, and it’s critical for the Supreme Court to affirm that.”

Flag This: Second Amendment

A majority of Americans favor stricter laws covering the sale of firearms, but today’s 57% is down significantly from 64% a year ago, Gallup notes. Earlier this year a USA TODAY/Ipsos Poll after the mass shootings in Georgia and Colorado showed 65% of Americans want tougher gun laws. An August 2019 Fox News poll of registered voters found 90% of respondents favored universal background checks, 81% supported taking guns from at-risk individuals, and 67% favored banning assault weapons. With that said, there are polls from right-leaning outlets like Rasmussen which found that by a 68%-22% margin, people “feel safer in a neighborhood where guns are allowed.” Four-in-ten adults say they live in a household with a gun, including 30% who say they personally own one, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted in June 2021.

Flag Poll: Second Amendment

In general, do you feel that the laws covering the sale of firearms should be made more strict, less strict, or kept as they are now? Comment below to share your thoughts.

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William Lewis
25 days ago

Stricter gun laws do no good whatsoever because CRIMINALS DO NOT OBEY THE LAW. That fact is apparently ignored by the over emotional gun control neurotics. So keep the laws like they are and stop juveniles from stealing guns and shooting each other and anyone else that gets in the way.

24 days ago

My state requires a background check and I feel that is sufficient. Obviously we don’t want violent felons, illegal immigrants or the mentally challenged in possession of a weapon. But do you honestly think you can prevent a criminal from obtaining a weapon? If they want one, they can obtain one. Only honest people follow the law.

Thomas Bender
24 days ago

I believe the current laws are fine. Let’s be clear, the issue is not guns, it is crime. People (read that as politicians) cannot continue to blame guns for their failure to address the current level of serious crime in our country. As support for my view, I give you Chicago, significant gun laws and crime out of control.

24 days ago

Personally, I think gun laws should be more strict and I base that on the number of deaths by firearms in the US compared to any other country. It’s like we’re still in the Wild West. Not one of those arguing for more lenient gun laws bring up the FACT that we are the only country in the entire world who’s children have to practice shooter protection due to incidents in schools. I’m glad my children are all adults but fear for my grandkids.

24 days ago

Our current laws in PA seem sufficient from my take with possibly two additions. We need some access to protect ourselves – especially us women – as needed. Criminals will get guns anyway regardless of laws. The problem of parents who freely give access to their mentally ill kids is something never addressed and laws, if amended, should be strengthened to charge these parents with the death penalty if its misuse amounted to a death (we’ve seen this in some mass killings). Law abiding urbanites are more prone to be scared of guns because they only see lawlessness associated with them, while rural people are accustomed to its use for hunting. Familiarity and proper use to both should be addressed and the answer would be a requirement that all carriers must take classes from the NRA periodically. This would include Hollywood.

24 days ago

It’s a hard subject. I think it should be hard but a gun and harder to conceal carry, but I think people have a right. We need to follow the laws already in place, which I think local governments and national don’t do. I think people with mental issues should not be allowed to have a gun. The problem is whatever happens the government will screw it up and that’s why we need guns. Our government is full of corrupt people and they screw up everything they touch.

Nonnie Luther
24 days ago

The more freedoms we give up the more they take – we are constitutional conservatives and I believe in every persons right to the freedoms it guarantees as an American citizen. Gun control doesn’t work for anyone except the criminals who do not follow the rule of law anyway.
We need to reopen the needed psychiatric facilities for those in need of help and get them off the streets.

24 days ago

Less strict; anyone who passes a background check should be able to get a concealed carry permit. I have a concealed carry permit but would like to see that it would be universally accepted across the United States. Even though I have a concealed carry permit, I have not conceal carried since obtaining the permit. If things get bad though I need to be prepared to defend myself. As citizens we also need to be prepared against a tyrannical government control.

David Wysocki
24 days ago

Let’s be honest, the only people who want more strict gun laws are those who want us to hold hands in peace UNTIL someone harms them then watch out, they want to put a hurt on someone with a gun! Forget about strict gun laws, criminals won’t obey them. Responsible people make this a safe country!