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.

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.

The three-judge panel of the Second US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the Supreme Court’s decisions established a fundamental right to possess firearms in the home – but that that right did not entitle law-abiding citizens to carry concealed weapons in public places.

Source: Warren Richey for the Christian Science Monitor.

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