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Federal appeals court upholds New York concealed-carry law

The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit [official website] on Tuesday held [opinion, PDF] that New York can continue to require residents who seek to carry a concealed weapon to obtain a special license. The plaintiffs sought injunctive relief from a New York handgun law requiring licensing officials to have applicants prove "proper cause" to obtain licenses to carry handguns for self-defense. The plaintiffs, citing the US Supreme Court [official website] decision in District of Columbia v. Heller [opinion, PDF; JURIST report], contended that the Second Amendment guarantees them a right to possess and carry weapons in public to defend themselves from dangerous confrontation, and that New York cannot constitutionally require them to demonstrate proper cause to exercise that right. The appeals court upheld the New York law, holding that Heller only addressed carrying handguns inside the home and left the issue of carrying guns outside the home unanswered. In their opinion the judges stated, "New York determined that limiting handgun possession to persons who have an articulable basis for believing they will need the weapon for self-defense is in the best interest of public safety and outweighs the need to have a handgun for an unexpected confrontation."

A number of Second Amendment guns control cases have been percolating in the courts throughout the country. In July the state of Florida stated that it would appeal the US District Court for the Southern District of Florida [official website] ruling that struck down [order, PDF] a Florida law barring doctors from discussing the dangers of gun ownership with patients. In March the US District Court for the District of Maryland [official website] ruled [JURIST report] that a Maryland law which limited individuals' rights to obtaining a permit by requiring a "good and substantial reason" was unconstitutional. In June 2010, the US Supreme Court ruled in McDonald v. Chicago [opinion; JURIST report] that the Second Amendment applies to states and municipalities as well as the federal government, thereby overturning Chicago's ban on handguns and raising considerable uncertainty about what amount of regulations of firearms was permissible.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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