N.Y. State Rifle & Pistol Ass'n v. Bruen

142 S. Ct. 2111 (2022)

Firm: Kirkland & Ellis

Issue Area: Guns & Arms Manufacturers

Case summary

Kirkland & Ellis represented the N.Y. State Rifle & Pistol Association in a lawsuit challenging New York’s requirement that those seeking to carry concealed weapons have proper cause. The Supreme Court overturned the New York law, creating a private right to carry a gun for self-defense and paving the way for gun control laws to be invalidated along the way.

Critics have argued that the ruling, advocated for by Kirkland & Ellis, hamstrings states and the federal government from protecting communities from mass shootings.

Excerpt from the firm's work product

Kirkland & Ellis urged the Supreme Court to adopt a broad interpretation of Second Amendment protections: "Because text, history, and tradition confirm that the Second Amendment protects the right to carry common arms like handguns for self-defense, the state cannot flatly prohibit law-abiding citizens like petitioners from exercising that right. That was the lesson of Heller. Indeed, Heller likened the District of Columbia’s unconstitutional ban on possessing handguns inside the home to “severe restrictions” on carrying common arms outside the home. Like the District’s regime in Heller, New York’s regime effectively criminalizes the exercise of a fundamental constitutional right. Just as the District’s extreme regime could not survive any meaningful form of scrutiny, neither can New York’s effort to let only the few exercise a right that the Constitution secures to all."

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