The Supreme Court has agreed to hear a major gun-rights claim and decide whether the 2nd Amendment gives law-abiding individuals a right to carry a loaded handgun when they leave home, regardless of local restrictions.

At issue are laws in California, New York, and six other states that strictly limit “concealed carry” permits to those who can show they have a “special need” or “good cause” to be armed.

“The time has come for this court to… reaffirm the citizens’ fundamental right to carry a handgun for self-defense,” Washington attorney Paul D. Clement said in his appeal on behalf of the New York State Rifle & Pistol Assn.

The case could be the most significant test of the 2nd Amendment in a decade. In 2008, the court ruled for the first time that the Constitution gives individuals a right to have a gun for self-defense, and it struck down a Washington, D.C., ordinance that prohibited all private possession of handguns. Two years later, the court threw out a similar handgun ban in Chicago.

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