In a move that stunned gun rights advocates, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to consider a case that many believe would have settled the argument over whether the Second Amendment guarantees the right to carry a firearm outside the home.
After several delays, the Justices denied certiorari on Monday in the case of Drake v. Jerejian, which pitted a New Jersey businessman against the state’s restrictive concealed carry law that requires an applicant to show a “compelling need” to carry a firearm in public. The move means the court will not rule on the issue of concealed carry rights until another case is forwarded.
“Naturally we are very disappointed, “ Association of New Jersey Rifle and Pistol Clubs director Scott Bach told Examiner.com. “At some point, the question of bearing arms for personal defense outside the home must be addressed.”
In 2008, the Supreme Court ruled that the Second Amendment affirmed the right of individual citizens to own firearms for self defense in the home. Since then, gun rights advocates have set their sights on whether the Second Amendment extends beyond the home, pushing for carry rights in public.
At the center of the Drake case is the question of whether states can impose strict rules on who may carry a firearm. Some states, including New Jersey, Maryland and New York require a carry applicant to demonstrate a quantifiable threat that demonstrates a need for the permit — a so-called “may issue” state.
Other so-called “shall issue” states typically just require a firearms safety course and a background check for a permit.
John Drake owns a business maintaining ATM machines — some in high crime areas — and he applied for a New Jersey carry permit to secure the $30,000 he usually carries to supply the machines. The state denied his permit request, saying he “failed to establish that an urgent necessity for self-protection as evidenced by prior specific threats or previous attacks demonstrating a special danger to your life,” the Washington Times reported.
While the rejection of the Drake case means the Supremes won’t consider the carry issue this year, it is unclear whether the Court will take up any Second Amendment cases in the coming years.
“Courts are still uncomfortable with the concept of Second Amendment rights,” attorney Alan Gura told Examiner.com.