This note proposes a framework for analyzing the point at which discretionary restrictions on the concealed carry of firearms are unconstitutional under the Second Amendment, which, at its core, guarantees the responsible, law-abiding citizen at least the right to use a firearm for self-defense. Although the Supreme Court has yet to affirmatively answer whether and to what extent this right extends beyond the home, every state allows its residents to publicly carry a firearm in some form—be it open or concealed. But states have the power to limit who may exercise this right; and some states curtail it to the point at which few, if any, individuals are granted a permit to carry a firearm. Should the Supreme Court face this issue, I argue that the latter approach is impermissible under the Second Amendment’s developing jurisprudence.
To briefly illustrate, most states develop a list of criteria that a permit applicant must satisfy, and, assuming he or she does so, the state will issue the applicant a concealed carry permit. However, some states, although they have a similar list of criteria, may also require an applicant to prove he or she has a special need for self-defense above that of the general public. Because permit schemes are already designed to isolate law-abiding citizens from potentially dangerous ones, I argue that, by drawing a distinction between (a) responsible, law-abiding citizens and (b) responsible, law-abiding citizens with a special need for self-defense, states have infringed upon the Second Amendment’s core.
Jack M. Amaro,
"Good Reason" Laws under the Gun: May-Issue States and the Right to Bear Arms,
Chi.-Kent L. Rev.
Available at: https://scholarship.kentlaw.iit.edu/cklawreview/vol94/iss1/3