Around the country, courts are confronting a critical question: whether the Second Amendment requires states to issue concealed handgun licenses to virtually anyone who wants one.
This week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit addressed that question, holding that New York’s requirement that concealed carry applicants show “a special need for self-protection” does not violate the Second Amendment. In Kachalsky v. Cacace, the court explained that the requirement of a showing of need is substantially related to the government’s important interests in preventing crime and guaranteeing public safety. The court found that the requirement is consistent with gun regulation that has existed since the nation’s founding, noting, “[t]here is a longstanding tradition of states regulating firearm possession and use in public because of the dangers posed to public safety.” New York has required a showing of need for carrying a concealed weapon for 100 years.
While many states issue a concealed handgun license to virtually anyone who applies, states like California and New York require an applicant to show a legitimate need to carry a gun in public, usually by presenting documentation of a real threat to the applicant’s safety. Those requirements are now under attack in a number of Second Amendment lawsuits nationwide brought by individuals who have no legitimate need to carry guns in public places.
Thankfully, the courts are standing up for the safety of their citizens and protecting the laws that work to reduce the violence that plagues their communities. For more this trend, read our publication, The Second Amendment Battleground: Victories in the Courts and Why They Matter.
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