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Concealed weapons: US court upholds New York state requirement for permit

New York requires gun owners to prove they have a special need for protection to obtain a concealed weapons permit. The 100-year-old law does not violate the Second Amendment, the court ruled.

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Guns are displayed for sale at the Personal Defense & Handgun Safety Center, Inc. in Raleigh, North Carolina in February 2012.

Ann Hermes / The Christian Science Monitor

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New York state’s requirement that gun owners prove they have a special need for protection in order to obtain a concealed weapons permit does not violate the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms, a federal appeals court ruled Monday.

The three-judge panel unanimously upheld a state law requiring applicants to prove that they’d received a personal threat or had some other special need for protection before they would be granted a permit to carry a concealed firearm in public.

An appeal to the US Supreme Court is expected.

A group of gun owners backed by a major gun rights group challenged the permit requirement as a violation of their Second Amendment rights.

They contended that as law-abiding citizens they should be able to carry concealed weapons without having to prove to government officials that they had “proper cause” to do so.

The gun owners argued that the US Supreme Court established in landmark decisions handed down in 2008 and 2010 that Americans possess a fundamental right to keep and bear arms for self protection.

At issue was whether New York’s 100-year-old concealed permit requirement violated Second Amendment rights by forcing applicants to demonstrate a special and individualized need for self protection apart from simply a general desire to carry a weapon for added security.

For example, under New York law, living in a high-crime area is not enough of a threat to entitle a gun owner to be issued a concealed carry permit.

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