SCOTUS to Hear New York Gun Rights Case Nov. 3

The Roberts Court, April 23, 2021. They will be hearing the case of New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen on Wednesday, Nov. 3.
Seated from left to right: Justices Samuel A. Alito, Jr. and Clarence Thomas, Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., and Justices Stephen G. Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor
Standing from left to right: Justices Brett M. Kavanaugh, Elena Kagan, Neil M. Gorsuch, and Amy Coney Barrett.
(Photograph by Fred Schilling, Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States)

U.S.A.-( The Supreme Court of the United States has set Wednesday, Nov. 3 as the date it will hear the long-awaited case of New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen, which challenges the Empire State’s “good cause” requirement for anyone seeking a license to carry a firearm outside the home for personal protection.

The case was originally called New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Corlett, and many people continue to call it that today.

This could be the landmark case of the decade, as the court—with a perceived conservative, pro-Second Amendment majority of 6-3 (or 5-4, depending upon one’s perspective)—could determine once and for all the parameters of the right to bear arms.

As noted by Pete Williams at MSNBC, the high court has already ruled (in District of Columbia v. Heller in 2008) that individual citizens have the right to keep firearms in their own home. But over the past decade-plus, the court has been reluctant to take another Second Amendment case.

The stakes are high, with amicus briefs having poured in from both sides.

Weighing in recently at The Hill on the importance of this case, attorney and Second Amendment scholar Stephen Halbrook quoted soon-to-be-ex-Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who declared, “The streets of New York are not the O.K. Corral and the NRA’s dream of a society where everyone is terrified of each other and armed to the teeth is abhorrent to our values.”

His ability to discuss values notwithstanding, Cuomo didn’t pay much attention to history, as detailed by Halbrook.

“The murder rate in today’s New York City far exceeds that of any cattle town in the Wild West,” Halbrook, who is also something of a historian, wrote. “In 2021, shootings are up almost 70 percent over 2020. Compared to 2019, murders are up nearly 50 percent. People are concerned for their safety. New York is not alone, violent crime in urban areas is surging nationwide.”

New York is one of only eight states that still maintain a “may issue” scheme for handing out carry permits, and frequently authorities find an excuse to not hand them out. Other states have adopted “shall issue” statutes, and nearly half of the states now have what is generically called “Constitutional carry” laws, which means people may legally carry with no permit at all. Many grassroots gun rights activists insist the Second Amendment is all the permit they need.

The situation in New York is exacerbated by the high fees charged to applicants, with no guarantee they will be granted a permit. It takes months, and hundreds of dollars, and no small inconvenience to go through the process. It is a process that seems more designed to discourage people from applying than it is to enable them to be armed in public for their own protection.

Halbrook sums it up nicely observing, “Whether ‘the people’ have a right to bear arms, or whether ‘the people’ is a code term for a government-approved elite, is going to be a challenging argument for New York. Must citizens convince government bureaucrats they have a special need for self-defense? What is it? Ability to pay fees? Connections? Celebrity? Is living in a high crime neighborhood not a special need?”

The key issue is that this case is about a constitutionally enumerated fundamental right, not a government-regulated privilege. Since when, say gun rights proponents, is it necessary to demonstrate any kind of need, or provide any reason whatsoever, to exercise a right?

The gun prohibition lobby is nervous about this case for good reason. If the high court rules against New York, it will have an immediate impact on seven other states, including neighboring New Jersey, Maryland, Massachusetts and California, for example. There are no accurate estimates on the number of people in those and a handful of other states who would immediately apply for licenses or permits to carry, but with somewhere north of 19.5 million citizens already legally carrying with a wallet document, plus an untold number of people packing without a permit/license, is would be safe to presume the numbers would spike upwards fast.

Writing at SCOTUSblog, Amy Howe explains, “The court did not indicate whether it would hear oral argument by telephone, as it has done since May 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, or whether it would instead return to the courtroom for in-person arguments.”

NYSR&PA v. Bruen is one of nine cases the court will hear over a six-day period, she noted. Howe calls this “one of the highest-profile cases of the term so far.”

That being the case, nobody should expect a ruling until the end of the term, in June 2022. Traditionally, the Supreme Court holds its most controversial rulings until the final days of the term, as it did with the Heller case and its ruling in McDonald v. City of Chicago in June 2010.

If the court holds to this tradition, the New York ruling will undoubtedly become a mid-term campaign issue, with Democrats having already proposed restrictive legislation, and passed some in the House. The outcome of the mid-terms may determine whether Democrats and Joe Biden will be finished with gun control next fall, or be given the green light to push whatever legislation they can.

About Dave Workman

Dave Workman is a senior editor at and Liberty Park Press, author of multiple books on the Right to Keep & Bear Arms, and formerly an NRA-certified firearms instructor.

Dave Workman

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as stated “who needs permission to exercise a right?” although we do see our rights being stripped from us daily by our current administration. and let me ask, who has the moral authority to tell someone if they can defend themselves from harm or what they can use to defend themselves?
the government is not able to protect every citizens, they cannot. nor are they required to do so by scotus. this is a personal issue, defend yourself or become a victim. this should be a no-brainer, but with roberts penchant for creative interpretation, that is not guaranteed.


would be nice if the ruling covered 1986 stoppage of machine gun production as these are what is needed to stop tyrants ,the punitive tax needs to go as well. In 1968 m2 bought at F.W.Woolworth cost $26 +2 for tax stamp I bought 2 have a friend whose father upon seeing these went and bought all the rest that were in that store and two others in south florida , he was with alpha 66 the m1 carbines were $22 and no sales tax A LOT HAS CHANGED and not for the better


SCROTUS. No matter what these fooIs say, the 2A stands on its own and the intended meaning will NEVER change.


” . . . the right of the people to keep and bear arms (emphasis mine) shall not be infringed.” I mean, what is there to adjudicate? The Second Amendment is clear and concise on this matter. I am looking for the Supreme Court to do the right thing and follow the Constitution in this business, even with wishy-washy Roberts voting with the Communists!

Charles Nichols

It isn’t a mystery as to how the US Supreme Court operates, except it seems to people who write about it. The justices rewrote the “Question Presented” to the court from whether or not “The People” have a right to carry a handgun in public to a narrow, as-applied to the two petitioners question which asks whether or not the denial of their applications for [unrestricted] concealed carry licenses violated the Second Amendment. Given that concealed carry is not a right protected by the Second Amendment, the NRA lawyers did not even try to argue the question presented to the… Read more »


Fire Wayne LaPierre!


“NYSR&PA v. Bruen is one of nine cases the court will hear over a six-day period”…

Seems like the issues that haunt us for a lifetime are allocated a very short moment of consideration by the Supreme Court Justices. I would think that at a minimum, they would all congregate in a high crime area or two for a week or so, exercising their preference as to whether they allow themselves weapons or not. Then the survivors can come back and write their opinions.




“We tried to fire LaPierre in ’97. Director Dave Workman turned coat to block the reform 32-33.”

“I too served with you in that era, and had forgotten about Workman’s duplicity.”

Still waiting for your apology for helping loot & destroy the NRA.

Last edited 1 year ago by Russn8r

He certainly has had ample opportunity to comment.

Charlie Foxtrot, any insights?


Maybe busy practicing rope tricks to sell that Will Rogers shtick. Never happen. Finally lost the 50-gal hat at least.

All hat no cattle.

Last edited 1 year ago by Russn8r