NRA Rejoices As SCOTUS Set To Strike Down New York Gun Restrictions

High-profile National Rifle Association (NRA) figures have rejoiced as the Supreme Court looks ready to strike down New York state's restrictive gun laws.

On Wednesday, top NRA officials welcomed indications from conservative justices that they would be ready to strike down restrictions on New York gun owners' rights to carry firearms outside the home.

New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc (NYSRPA) v. Bruen is a major gun rights case that could have major consequences across the country.

The Empire State requires gun owners to show "proper cause" for carrying concealed handguns, instead of a speculative self-defense need, in order to be granted permission to do so from a firearms licensing officer.

While conservative justices did voice concerns about how striking down the state's current law, introduced in 1913, could inadvertently allow guns in sensitive places, such as schools, and suggested there could still be restrictions, they did indicate a willingness to expand gun rights in New York state.

"Why isn't it good enough to say 'I live in a violent area and I want to defend myself?'" Justice Brett Kavanaugh asked, according to Reuters.

After justices examined the case, NRA officials said they welcomed the decision to review New York state's gun law and also said why they wanted it to be struck down.

NRA Institute of Legislative Action Executive Director Jason Ouimet said: "Under current New York law, a law-abiding resident becomes a felon the moment he or she steps outside their home with their firearm. This is a clear infringement of the Second Amendment.

"The NRA is grateful that the Supreme Court is tackling this critical issue. We are proud to be a part of this case, and we look forward to a future in which law-abiding Americans everywhere have the fundamental right to self-defense the way the Constitution intended."

NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre added: "Police officers are being forced off their jobs. Headlines remind us of sharp declines in criminal prosecutions. Americans live in an increasingly dangerous world.

"That's why it's vital for any law-abiding New Yorker who wishes to protect themselves and their families, outside their home, not be held hostage to the whim of any local official. That is the essence of this case."

Rebecca Fischer, Executive Director of New Yorkers Against Gun Violence, told Newsweek they are concerned that an unfavorable SCOTUS decision will lead to more gun violence in the city.

"Right now, even with the spike in gun violence during COVID-19, New York has some of the strongest gun laws and one of the lowest gun death and injury rates in the country. States with loose right to carry laws have higher rates of gun violence and empirical data has proven this time and time again.

"The last thing we need right now is more guns in public spaces, especially densely populated places--like Times Square any time of year," Fischer said.

The case will highlight different interpretations of the Second Amendment between conservative and liberal wings of the Supreme Court.

While conservatives will wrangle over the details, their 6-3 majority suggests the 1913 law will be struck down.

It is also the biggest gun rights case to land on justices' desks since decisions in 2008 and 2010 established the right for Americans to keep firearms at home for self-defense.

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The NRA was happy SCOTUS justices were examining the case. In this photo, the logo of the National Rifle Association is seen on February 10, 2017 in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Dominick Reuter/AFP via Getty Images