The Supreme Court is expected to issue its ruling on gun laws in New York State, potentially putting more guns on the streets. Two men in New York took their case to the highest court in the United States after being denied concealed carry permits.

Robert Nash and Brandon Koch each applied for a concealed-carry firearm license for the purpose of self-defense. The licensing officer denied both applications, finding that neither individual met the proper cause standard required by New York law in order to issue a firearms license for general self-defense. New York courts have defined proper cause as requiring the applicant to “demonstrate a special need for self-protection distinguishable from that of the general community.

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The Rensselaer County men had initially taken their case to lower courts but did not receive favorable rulings. The men claim that under New York State law, their Second Amendment rights have been violated. Nash and Kock appealed to the Supreme Court on December 17, 2020. The Court agreed to hear the case on April 26, 2021. An oral argument was presented before the Supreme Court on November 3, 2021. It is expected that the Court will rule soon.

New York case law defines proper cause as requiring an applicant to 'demonstrate a special need for self-protection distinguishable from that of the general community.' The licensing officer found that none of the reasons offered by Nash or Koch for needing to carry a firearm for general self-defense met this proper cause standard.

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If the Supreme Court rules in Nash and Koch's favor, more legal guns could end up on the streets of New York. Many people site that 'ghost guns,' without serial numbers or stolen guns are used in crimes.

The impact of the decision will reach beyond New York. Seven other states have a similar law. The eight states govern 80 million people.

Many in Western New York are still trying to overcome the trauma and grief caused by a white supremacist shooting 10 Black victims to death at the Tops Friendly Market on Jefferson Avenue in Buffalo on Saturday, May 14, 2022. There has been talk by many politicians about enacting even stricter gun laws in New York State, but the Supreme Court ruling could halt any action.

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