U.S. Supreme Court

Does Second Amendment protect right to carry gun outside home? SCOTUS declines to decide the issue

  • Print.

The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear a case that contended the Second Amendment protects the right to carry a gun in public.

The New York law at issue requires gun owners seeking a “concealed carry” permit to demonstrate a special need for self-protection, report the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times.

According to SCOTUSblog, there is a “clear split” among the federal appeals courts on whether the Second Amendment protects gun rights outside the home, “and yet that was not sufficient to draw the court back into the center of the controversy.”

UCLA law professor Adam Winkler told the Los Angeles Times in its preview of the case that the justices may decline cert. “Some of the justices may be hesitant to take a Second Amendment case while nerves are still raw from Newtown,” he said.

The case is Kachalsky v. Cacace. The New York-based 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals had upheld the law, which is similar to laws in California, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts and New Jersey. The appeals court said the U.S. Supreme Court decision in District of Columbia v. Heller dealt with the right to own a handgun in the home and didn’t address self-defense outside the home.

In December, the Chicago-based 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued a contrary ruling, striking down an Illinois law that barred most citizens from carrying guns outside the home. The law is the nation’s strictest concealed carry statute.

Give us feedback, share a story tip or update, or report an error.