New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc. v. Bruen was argued on November 3, 2021.

This case has the potential to be a landmark Second Amendment case that could affect gun licensing in many states and cities. The case focuses on a New York law that establishes the process of applying for a license to carry a concealed handgun for self-defense.


In 1911, New York passed a law which makes it a crime to possess any firearm without a license. Even with a license, concealed-carry permits are needed if gun owners wish to publicly carry their guns so that they are not visible to others. To receive a permit to carry a concealed handgun, an applicant must show “proper cause” and demonstrate a special need for self-protection.

The plaintiffs in this case are the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association (NYSRPA) and two individuals, Robert Nash and Brandon Koch. Nash and Koch applied for licenses to carry concealed handguns. The officer denied their licenses because they failed to show “proper cause.” Both men were granted restricted licenses to carry concealed handguns outside the home for hunting and target practice, and in areas not “frequented by the general public.” Koch’s license also allows him to carry a concealed handgun while commuting to and from work. Other members of the NYSRPA would like to exercise their right to carry handguns for self-defense but also have been denied licenses.

The important question presented in this case is whether New York's law requiring that applicants for concealed-carry licenses demonstrate a special need for self-defense (the Sullivan Act) violates the Second Amendment?


Case Materials

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Briefs

Oral Argument

Decision

  • Link to the opinion of the Court (to be posted after the decision is announced)

Resources


Classroom Guide to Moot Courts

This free Street Law resource is the perfect companion to our SCOTUS in the Classroom case materials. The 10-lesson-plan guide supports teachers in implementing moot courts in their classrooms. The lessons help set the stage for a successful moot court experience—from understanding the appellate process to granting to judicial opinion writing to evaluation tools.

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