Muggings in the Woods? Chief Justice Roberts Quizzes N.Y. on Its Gun Law
(Bloomberg) -- U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts had a hard question for New York about its law restricting the carrying of concealed weapons outside the home.
At oral arguments before the Supreme Court on Wednesday, the state’s lawyer was trying to convince the justices that carrying a gun in a densely populated area presents a greater danger than toting the weapon in a rural area.
Roberts asked how pressing the need for a gun for self-defense was in the countryside, when the risks of violence in a city are greater.
“How many muggings take place in the forest?” he asked New York Solicitor General Barbara Underwood.
Underwood pointed to rapes and other violent crimes that take place in secluded settings like isolated bike paths. She agreed that risks differ in urban and rural areas but stressed that the two settings likewise pose different threats to public safety when people are carrying guns.
The court heard arguments in its biggest Second Amendment case in more than a decade, as it considers a challenge to New York’s tight limits on the right to carry a concealed handgun in public. New York requires special justifications for a concealed carry permit.
Everytown for Gun Safety, which advocates for universal background checks and gun-safety measures, is backed by Michael Bloomberg, founder and majority owner of Bloomberg News parent company Bloomberg LP. The group filed a brief at the Supreme Court supporting the New York restrictions.
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