Supreme Court to hear major N.Y. case on gun owner rights to carry outside their homes

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Seized handguns from police headquarters in New York

The case of two firearm owners in New York state has reached the Supreme Court, and could lead to the most consequential ruling on the Second Amendment’s scope in more than a decade, according to a Reuters report.

Justices stepped back into the debate over gun rights on April 26, agreeing to hear a challenge backed by the National Rifle Association to New York state’s limitations on the carrying of concealed firearms in public. The court’s 6-3 conservative majority is seen as strongly sympathetic to Second Amendment rights.

The case could end up being a major setback for gun control efforts nationally, at a time when a government seized by Democrats seems focused on cementing its power by disarming Americans.

The court has taken up an appeal by the two gun owners and the New York affiliate of the NRA of a lower court ruling which overturned their challenge to the restrictions on concealed handguns outside people’s homes. A state firearms licensing officer had awarded the two gun owners “concealed carry” permits but restricted them to hunting and target practice, which prompted the legal challenge.

Lower courts rejected the plaintiffs’ argument that New York’s restrictions are in violation of the U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. The lawsuit’s goal is unrestricted rights to concealed carry in public.

Gun control advocates are concerned that the conservative justices will undermine existing policies at the state level, including more involved criminal background checks for gun buyers and “red flag” laws that target gun ownership by people deemed “dangerous” – sometimes on dubious grounds – by the courts.

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