On Tuesday the federal appeals court in New York ruled that there is no fundamental right to carry a handgun outside your home. Kachalsky v. City of Westchester, No. 11-3642.
Gun advocates like the National Rifle Association and the Second Amendment Foundation have been suing states and cities across the country, saying that "the Second Amendment does not stop at one's doorstep" and that there is an unlimited right to carry handguns in public. They argue that the Second Amendment right to bear arms was the same as the First Amendment right to free speech. In other words: if the government can't license the right to speak, it cannot limit the right to carry a handgun.
So far, the NRA is shooting blanks.
The federal court ruled that – for public safety reasons – New York State can require applicants for a concealed-carry gun license to spell out a particular need for self-protection. A simple desire to carry a concealed weapon for self-protection isn't enough.
The federal court said that the core protection in the Second Amendment is "the right of law-abiding, responsible citizens to use arms in the defense of the hearth and home." The New York law applies to handguns in public.
Larry Bodine is Editor-in-Chief of Lawyers.com, a trusted source of accurate and reliable profiles of 1 million lawyers and firms worldwide, access a wealth of information regarding legal issues.
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