(USA Features) Some 20 million concealed firearm permit holders will be eagerly awaiting the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in what could be a landmark case regarding the constitutionality of carrying guns outside the home.
Last month, the high court agreed to take up an appeal by a pair of New York gun owners over the question of whether the Second Amendment’s ‘infringement clause allows Americans to carry concealed firearms.
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Previous rulings at the high court and in lower federal courts have affirmed that the amendment does protect Americans’ right to own guns.
So far, though, the issue of concealed carry has eluded Supreme Court and constitutional scrutiny though the number of Americans who have obtained permits to carry a gun outside the home has soared to a record level, Just the News reported.
Criminologist John Lott, the president of the Crime Prevention Researh Center, said that “at least 7.8 percent of the adult population” has a concealed carry permit.
“We have seen the largest increases in permits among women and minorities (Asians and blacks),” he said, according to the outlet.
“It has changed as those groups of people have come to recognize that it is people who are relatively weaker physically and those who are the most likely victims of violent crime who benefit the most from carrying concealed,” he added.
It should also be noted that some states have passed legislation known as “constitutional carry,” which permits citizens to carry a gun openly or concealed without having to take training or obtain a license, so the actual number of Americans carrying guns daily is likely far higher.
Lott said that in recent years, more than a dozen states have passed such laws.
“I think a lot of the reason that people get concealed handgun permits is the same reason that people buy guns,” he noted. “This past year we saw situations where large percentages of inmates were [released early from] jails and prisons, police were being ordered to stand down or had their budgets cut, and prosecutors in heavily Democratic cities were refusing to prosecute criminals.”
“People want the police to be able to protect them, but they see that police haven’t been able to do their job so that they have to be able to protect themselves.”