NYSRPA v Corlett | the Supreme Court Looks at the Second Amendment

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The NYSRPA v Corlett is a case every pro-Second Amendment person should be watching, no matter where they live. Those of us in free (or at least free-er) states have long sympathized with our brothers and sisters who live behind the Blue Curtain where the Second Amendment is treated, according to Justice Clarence Thomas, as a “second class right.” With “shall issue” being the norm in God’s Country, and Constitutional Carry making strong inroads, it has become almost impossible for “regular folks” (i.e. the everyman, regardless of gender) in places like New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, California, etc. to obtain a carry permit.

Read an overview below or just skip straight to the video

New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc. et al, Petitioners v. Kevin P. Bruen, in His Official Capacity as Superintendent of New York State Police, et al

NYSRPA v Corlett

Will the US Supreme Court Take Issue With “May Issue” States?

How New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. Corlett Could Make Your Day

Up top: the featured image from this article is a P11 subcompact pistol from Grand Power; photo credit Global Ordnance.

The problem is that, in those states, or even localities, the law states that the applicant must show good cause for needing a permit. The “may issue” part means that they can be turned down for any reason or no reason. In such places, the desire for self-defense is not an accepted (which is different from acceptable) reason. That is, unless you have a lot of money, have the right connections, or both.

Most folks don’t fit that profile, so most folks get rejected.

The New York State Rifle and Pistol Association (NYSRPA) is trying to change that, and it looks like they have a good chance to succeed. Their case (NYSRPA v Corlett) has been accepted by the US Supreme Court. The case was filed against the Superintendent of the New York State Police, Keith M. Corlett since it is his agency that has the power to approve or deny permit requests in that state and they do a lot more denying than approving. Corlett was the 16th Superintendent of the NYSP and is now retired. 

The defendant has now been changed to Kevin P. Bruen, the current NY State Police superintendent, but I kept the terminology the same because most outlets still have it as “Corlett.”

The case was recently heard by the Second US Circuit Court of Appeals, which ruled in favor of the state. The Second Circuit employed what is known as “intermediate scrutiny” of the Second Amendment aspect of the case, while balancing that against the perceived “public interest” of the State of New York, which the state claims is “public safety.”

A Second and Fourteenth Amendment Case

SCOTUS Docket No. 20-843

The NYSRPA has successfully appealed on the grounds that the law, which was enacted over a century ago to prevent “undesirables” (primarily newly arrived European immigrants) from obtaining firearms. That makes it not only a Second Amendment case but likely also one that involves the Fourteenth Amendment. The NYSRPA is arguing that the law reduces what is clearly a “broad spectrum” right in the Constitution to a privilege attainable by only a very few.

OK, good on the NYSRPA for standing up, but what are the implications?

Well, if the Supreme Court sides with the good guys, it could, and likely would, yank the rug out from under all such laws across the country. Not only that but such a decision could very well direct that all Second Amendment cases be conducted under what is called “strict scrutiny,” meaning that the tendency of lower courts to balance the law with perceived “public interest,” on the part of lawmakers would no longer be valid. If that happens, there won’t be any more basis for “the Second Amendment says this…but…” responses.

Such a verdict could spill over into the realm of restricting certain firearms or magazines. I’ve even seen some speculation that it could provide grounds to challenge at least parts of the Gun Control Acts of 1968 and 1986. It could literally dump the whole can of worms out on the ground.

Notice I said COULD (double emphasis intentional).

Nothing is certain with the Supreme Court. But this is the best chance we’ve had since the Heller case to make serious inroads against protectionist politicians.

If you want a more in-depth version of things, check out the video linked below.

You might also consider sending the NYSRPA a little love. They are fighting the good fight.

@NYSRPA on Twitter | Online at https://www.nysrpa.org/. 

Read more about this case on the SCOTUS Blog.

 

 

From when the NYSRPA let its members know the good news: 

 

 

The following are (as of this writing) the most recent actions taken in the NYSRPA v Corlett Case:

 

Jul 09 2021 Brief amicus curiae of Alabama Center for Law and Liberty filed.
Jul 13 2021 Brief of petitioners New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc., et al. filed.
Jul 13 2021 Joint appendix filed.
Jul 13 2021 Brief amici curiae of Professors of Second Amendment Law, et al. filed.
Jul 14 2021 Brief amicus curiae of Claremont Institutional Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence filed.
Jul 14 2021 Brief amici curiae of Bay Colony Weapons Collectors, Inc. filed.
Jul 15 2021 Brief amicus curiae of Association of New Jersey Rifle & Pistol Clubs, Inc. filed.
Jul 15 2021 Brief amici curiae of Italo-American Jurists and Attorneys filed.
Jul 16 2021 Brief amicus curiae of National African American Gun Association, Inc. filed.
Jul 16 2021 Brief amicus curiae of Mountain States Legal Foundation’s Center to Keep and Bear Arms filed.
Jul 16 2021 Amicus brief of George K. Young Jr. submitted.
Jul 19 2021 Amicus brief of The Buckeye Institute submitted.
Jul 19 2021 Amicus brief of Representative Claudia Tenney and 175 Additional Members of the U.S. House of Representatives submitted.
Jul 19 2021 Amicus brief of Law Enforcement Groups and State and Local Firearms Rights Groups submitted.
Jul 19 2021 Amicus brief of Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms submitted.
Jul 19 2021 Amicus brief of The DC Project Foundation; Operation Blazing Sword—Pink Pistols; Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership submitted.
Jul 19 2021 Amicus brief of Patrick J. Charles submitted.
Jul 20 2021 Amicus brief of J. Joel Alicea submitted.
Jul 20 2021 Amicus brief of Second Amendment Foundation, et al. submitted.
Jul 20 2021 Amicus brief of American Constitutional Rights Union submitted.
Jul 20 2021 Amicus brief of The Cato Institute submitted.
Jul 20 2021 Amicus brief of The Firearms Policy Coalition and Professor Joyce Lee Malcolm submitted.
Jul 20 2021 Amicus brief of American Center for Law and Justice submitted.
Jul 20 2021 Amicus brief of NRA Civil Rights Defense Fund submitted.
Jul 20 2021 Amicus brief of California Gun Rights Foundation submitted.
Jul 20 2021 Amicus brief of California Rifle & Pistol Association, Incorporated and Second Amendment Law Center, Inc submitted.
Jul 20 2021 Amicus brief of William English, Ph.D. and The Center for Human Liberty submitted.
Jul 20 2021 Amicus brief of Center for Defense of Free Enterprise, et al. submitted.
Jul 20 2021 Amicus brief of National Foundation for Gun Rights and National Association for Gun Rights submitted.
Jul 20 2021 Amicus brief of The Independent Institute submitted.
Jul 20 2021 Amicus brief of Ted Cruz, Mitch McConnell, John Barrasso, Marsha Blackburn, John Boozman, Mike Braun, John Cornyn, Tom Cotton, Kevin Cramer, Mike Crapo, Steve Daines, Josh Hawley, John Hoeven, Cindy Hyde-Smith, Jim Inhofe, Ron Johnson, James Lankford, Mike Lee, Cynthia Lummis, Roger Marshall, Jerry Moran, Jim Risch, Marco Rubio, Rick Scott, Thom Tillis submitted.
Jul 20 2021 Amicus brief of Madison Society Foundation, Inc. submitted.
Jul 20 2021 Amicus brief of Crime Prevention Resource Center submitted.
Jul 20 2021 Amicus brief of Asian Pacific American Gun Owners Association submitted.
Jul 20 2021 Amicus brief of Governor Greg Abbott submitted.
Jul 20 2021 Amicus brief of Second Amendment Law Professors submitted.
Jul 20 2021 Amicus brief of FPC American Victory Fund, Coalition of New Jersey Firearms Owners, San Diego County Gun Owners, Orange County Gun Owners, Riverside County Gun Owners, California County Gun Owners, and Knife Rights Foundation, Inc. submitted.
Jul 20 2021 Amicus brief of Lambert Henry, Russell Davenport, and Peter Fusco submitted.
Jul 20 2021 Amicus brief of THE LEAGUE FOR SPORTSMEN, LAW ENFORCEMENT AND DEFENSE submitted.
Jul 20 2021 Amicus brief of Gun Owners of America, Inc., Gun Owners Foundation, and Heller Foundation submitted.
Jul 20 2021 Amicus brief of State of Arizona submitted.
Jul 20 2021 Amicus brief of Professors Robert Leider and Nelson Lund, and the Buckeye Firearms Association submitted.
Jul 20 2021 Amicus brief of The Goldwater Institute submitted.
Jul 20 2021 Amicus brief of The Rutherford Institute submitted.
Jul 20 2021 Amicus brief of National Shooting Sports Foundation Inc. submitted.
Jul 20 2021 Amicus brief of The Liberal Gun Club, Inc. submitted.
Jul 20 2021 Amicus brief of Black Guns Matter submitted.
Jul 21 2021 Amicus brief of Independent Women’s Law Center submitted.

William “Bucky” Lawson is a self-described “typical Appalachian-American gun enthusiast”. He is a military historian specializing in World War II and has written a few things, as he says, “here and there”. A featured contributor for Strategy & Tactics, he likes dogs, range time, and a good cigar – preferably with an Old Fashioned that has an extra orange slice.





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