Announcer: The following segment is sponsored by Martin, Harding & Mazzotti.
Interviewer: The stage is set for the nation’s highest court to hear a controversial case regarding New York gun rights. Despite not having issued a major second amendment ruling since 2010, the Supreme Court will hear a case that questions whether the process used here in New York to issue pistol permits is constitutional or not. And here to help examine this legal issue is managing partner Paul Harding, with the law firm of Martin, Harding & Mazzotti. So, Paul, first can you tell us just a little bit about this case and what legal issue the court will be reviewing?
Paul: Well, by way of background the Supreme Court takes about 120 to 125 cases a year. They have 7,000 cases presented to them each year out of the hundreds of thousands of cases that are appealed. So, to get there, not easy to do. This case, Rensselaer County gun rights, big stuff, right? So, what I’m looking at here is simply this: the justices have not commented on gun rights in over 10 years, and the fact that they want to do this is pretty indicative of the fact that they say, “Look, in New York you have special rules. The rules are everyone has a background check. Everyone has a pretty serious background check. They come to your house, they talk to your neighbor, they talk to your kids, your spouse, before they give you a pistol permit.” But then the judge says, “Hey, you get to carry, and you don’t get to carry. You get to keep your pistol only in your house.” And that’s the issue, is the ability for the judges, after someone has been approved, to decide you carry, you don’t carry. Is it constitutional? The Supreme Court wants to take a look at that.
Interviewer: So, it seems as though the court kinda decided to hear this case now after more than a decade of sort of seemingly avoiding the issue. How do you see all of this playing out?
Paul: Yeah, well the court’s changed, right? We’ve got more conservative, maybe gun right, Supreme Court, but the reality of it is they don’t take these things just to confirm them, or sometimes, but ultimately they want to make a statement. I think the statement they’re gonna make is that, “Okay, we need to have New York be less arbitrary in who gets to have a carry…they call it a carry pistol. You can kinda wander around town with it. Or who has to keep it in their house? We think it’s unfair.” But, of course, it’s gonna have ramifications far beyond New York.
Interviewer: So, not only does it impact New York, but how do you think it’s going to effect potentially other states?
Paul: Yeah, I think by the other states, some are kind of really willy-nilly when they’re giving these permits out. You know? It’s almost like they think their background check isn’t as tight as New York, the rules are kinda…so, I think what they want to do is say, “Listen, country, this is how we’re gonna do it. This is how you’re gonna issue a permit. Everybody, not just states pick the way you want to do it. This is the best way to do it.” And then in doing so, I think they’re gonna overturn New York’s ability to stop some people from having a carry, and other people having to keep it in their home. But yeah, this is gonna effect the country, gun rights, highly anticipated case. Lots of energy around guns, as you know. So, yeah. Big case, Supreme Court.
Interviewer: All right, Paul. Thanks. Of course, something we’re staying on top of , and if you’d like more information you can head to our website, CBS6Albany.com.