Local gun case to be heard by Supreme Court

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RENSSELAER COUNTY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear a Rensselaer County case that will decide if citizens have a right to carry guns outside their home for protection.

The Supreme Court announced on Monday to hear the case of the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association, Robert Nash and Brandon Koch against State Police superintendent Keith Corlett and state Supreme Court Justice Richard McNally, who is the licensing officer for Rensselaer County. 

In New York you need a license to carry a concealed gun, which comes from licensing officers who are usually judges or law enforcement officers. New York denies applicants the right to carry a firearm outside of their home.

“You can posses a firearm in your own home to defend yourself for self defense, but the issue has been what about in public,” said Fulton County Sheriff Richard Giardino.  

The National Rifle Association of America believes that law-abiding citizens should not be required to prove they are in danger to receive the government’s permission to exercise their rights.

NRA said it has been over a decade since the Supreme Court ruled that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to have a handgun in the home for self-defense.

“If you are not otherwise prohibited by law from owning a firearm, it would allow you to carry a concealed gun outside of your home,” said Tom King, Executive Director of New York State Rifle and Pistol Association.

“We want to possess it outside the home for self defense is what the lawsuit is saying. However the court is going to say well just because you apply for it doesn’t mean you are guaranteed it or you shall have it,” said Sheriff Giardino.

Some gun control groups across the country believe this court ruling is wrong and a reckless response to our nation’s grief. The Gifford Law Center released a statement.

Such an extreme decision would be out of step with Second Amendment precedent, historical evidence, and the views of the overwhelming majority of Americans. We urge the Supreme Court to reject those dangerous arguments and instead protect recent progress toward gun safety reform.” 

Hannah Shearer, Litigation Director at Giffords Law Center

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said this NRA-backed case is a massive threat to that security.

Imagine someone carrying a gun through Times Square, onto the subway, or to a tailgate outside of a Bills game – the NRA’s goal here is to shift the onus onto regular New Yorkers, police officers, security guards, and first responders to determine whether an armed individual poses a threat or is simply carrying for self-defense.

Governor Andrew Cuomo

The New York Attorney General Letitia James commented on the decision to hear the New York gun law case.

“We will vigorously defend any challenge to New York state’s gun laws that are intended to protect public safety. We look forward to presenting the state’s arguments at the U.S. Supreme Court and to showing how New York’s laws protect public safety in a manner consistent with the Second Amendment.”

New York Attorney General Letitia James

While Rep. Elise Stefanik said she cannot overstate the importance of the Super Court’s consideration of this case for law-abiding gun owners in New York.

The Constitution is clear, the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. I am hopeful the Supreme Court will rule in favor of that constitutional truth and protect the right of law-abiding New Yorkers and Americans to defend themselves, regardless of where they are.”

NY Congresswoman Elise Stefanik

New York is among eight states that limit who has the right to carry a weapon in public. In the fall, the Supreme Court is set to review and take up the right to carry a gun for self-defense.

“It could go two ways, things could stay the way they are and if its in our favor, then theres going to have to be a whole sale of revamping of the New York State Pistol Law,” said King.

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