NEW YORK (WABC) -- The Supreme Court is set to rule on a case that could transform the landscape of what guns are legally allowed to be carried in New York.
At issue in the case of New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. Bruen is whether New York's denial of applications for concealed-carry licenses for self-defense violates the Second Amendment.
The state's 100-year-old law requires showing "proper cause" in order to carry a concealed firearm, with permits issued at the discretion of local officials.
If the high court strikes that down or loosens the proper cause requirements, it would likely mean more guns in public spaces, which city officials and the NYPD is lobbying against.
It's the biggest test of gun rights before the Supreme Court in a decade, with the justices being asked to decide if there is a fundamental right to carry a handgun in public for self-defense.
Their decision could reshape gun laws nationwide.
"We should be very afraid," Mayor Eric Adams said. "In a densely populated community like New York, this ruling could have a major impact on us."
Adams is just one of many sounding the alarm and raising concerns about public safety if carry restrictions are rolled back too far.
It is the wrong move, he says, during a time of rising gun violence and deaths.
Just this week, the CDC reported 45,000 people died by gun violence in 2020, the highest rate of gun-related deaths in more than a quarter of a century.
New York and New Jersey are two of the eight states that have similar laws giving local authorities discretion to decide who receives gun permits.
Legal experts say a decision striking down or loosening those "proper cause" requirements will mean more concealed weapons in public places -- especially concerning in densely populated areas.
"I think it would be a big mistake in urban areas to let this happen," former NYPD Chief of Detectives and ABC News contributor Robert Boyce said. "It's just too many people. Again, I'm a proponent of the Second Amendment, but everything has to be reasonable."
Gun rights advocates argue the standard is so tough to meet that it violates the Constitution, but whatever the high court's opinion, legal experts predict it will lay out a new standard for how courts should review state gun laws -- likely meaning more litigation will follow.
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