The court must consider the national security and public safety threats posed by concealable weapons

The court must consider the national security and public safety threats posed by concealable weapons

This article is part of a symposium on the upcoming argument in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen . A preview of the case is here . Mary B. McCord is executive director and Annie L. Owens is senior counsel at the Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection at Georgetown University Law Center. New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen represents the first significant Second Amendment case to be taken up by the Supreme Court since District of Columbia v. Heller in 2008. In Heller , the court held, for the first time, that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to keep and bear arms for self-defense. But the court also made clear that the Second Amendment right is “not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose,” and emphasized that its ruling did not impact “longstanding” restrictions on keeping and bearing firearms. The case now before the court attempts to chip away at longstanding restrictions on carrying concealed weapons, even though Heller acknowledged that “the majority of the 19th-century courts to consider the question held that prohibitions on carrying concealed weapons were lawful under the Second Amendment or state analogues.” The justices should not decide this case without careful consideration of the threat that concealable weapons pose to national security and public safety — the very reasons that longstanding restrictions on concealed carrying do not infringe Second Amendment rights. The ready availability of […]

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