WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Supreme Court agreed to hear an appeal in a New York case over the right to carry a firearm in public for self-defense.
The case marks the court’s first foray into gun rights since Justice Amy Coney Barrett joined the court in October.
The justices said they will review a lower-court ruling that upheld New York’s restrictive gun permit law. President Joe Biden also has announced several executive actions to combat what he called an “epidemic and an international embarrassment” of gun violence in America.
The court had turned down review of the issue in June, before Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death.
New York is among eight states that limit who has the right to carry a weapon in public. The others are California, Delaware, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Rhode Island.
Paul Clement, representing challengers to New York’s permit law, said the court should use the case to settle the issue once and for all. “Thus, the nation is split, with the Second Amendment alive and well in the vast middle of the nation, and those same rights disregarded near the coasts,” Clement wrote on behalf of the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association and two New York residents.
The issue of carrying a gun for self-defense has been seen for several years as the next major step for gun rights at the Supreme Court, following decisions in 2008 and 2010 that established a nationwide right to keep a gun at home for self-defense.
In June, Justice Clarence Thomas, joined by Justice Brett Kavanaugh, complained that rather than take on the constitutional issue, “the Court simply looks the other way.”