PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The US Supreme Court ruled New York’s conceal carry law violates the Constitution.
Residents needed proper cause to get a license to carry a concealed handgun in public.
When it comes to how it will impact Pennsylvania, those with CeaseFirePA think the state’s gun laws are on solid ground and this won’t really impact our gun laws. But a firearms law attorney thinks the opposite.
The Supreme Court struck down a New York gun law ruling the requirement to have proper cause to get a license to carry a concealed handgun outside the home is unconstitutional.
“It’s a dangerous decision,” said Josh Fleitman, the western Pennsylvania manager of CeaseFirePA. “People’s lives are going to be impacted and people’s lives are going to be lost because of this decision. Luckily, it’s going to have very little, if any, impact to Pennsylvania’s state laws.”
Questions are swirling around about how other states will be affected. About a half dozen states have similar laws, but other states, including Pennsylvania, have “shall issue” laws. In Pennsylvania, a person 21 or older may submit an application for a license to carry to their sheriff, who has 45 days to conduct an investigation and decide if a person is eligible.
Fleitman said he doesn’t think the state’s conceal carry law will be weakened.
“We believe very firmly that Pennsylvania’s laws are on solid ground, even in light of this decision,” he said.
Attorney Joshua Prince, who concentrates on firearms law, anticipates the ruling will result in several laws being struck down.
He said in part he believes there’s a question as to whether the state’s licensing statute is constitutional to allow it to take 45 days to issue the license. He suspects it will be challenged in the near future. He says forcing a law-abiding citizen to wait 45 days to be able to defend themselves in public seems excessive and violates the Second Amendment.
Meanwhile, Fleitman believes more needs to be done to strengthen gun laws, not undermine them.
“This decision by the Supreme Court is totally out of whack with public opinion and I believe that despite this, we will continue to see pressure placed on state legislatures, Congress, to strengthen gun laws because that’s what the public wants.”
In Pennsylvania, sheriffs do a background check, and they may deny a person if there’s reason to believe the person would act in a manner to endanger public safety. Fleitman says he thinks training should be required as well.