The dissent continued: New York State requires individuals to obtain a license in order to carry a concealed handgun in public. N. Y. Penal Law Ann. §400.00(2) (West Cum. Supp. 2022). I address the specifics of that licensing regime in greater detail in Part II–B below. Because, at this stage in the proceedings, the parties have not had an opportunity to develop the evidentiary record, I refer to facts and representations made in petitioners’ complaint and in amicus briefs filed before us. Under New York’s regime, petitioners Brandon Koch and Robert Nash have obtained restricted licenses that permit them to carry a concealed handgun for certain purposes and at certain times and places. They wish to expand the scope of their licenses so that they can carry a concealed handgun without restriction. Koch and Nash are residents of Rensselaer County, New York. Koch lives in Troy, a town of about 50,000, located eight miles from New York’s capital city of Albany, which has a population of about 98,000. See App. 100; U. S. Census Bureau, Quick Facts: Troy City, New York (last updated July 1, 2021), https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/ troycitynewyork; id., Albany City, New York, https://www. census.gov/quickfacts/albanycitynewyork.
Nash lives in Averill Park, a small town 12.5 miles from Albany. App. 100. Koch and Nash each applied for a license to carry a concealed handgun. Both were issued restricted licenses that allowed them to carry handguns only for purposes of hunting and target shooting. Id., at 104, 106. But they wanted “unrestricted” licenses that would allow them to carry concealed handguns “for personal protection and all lawful purposes.” Id., at 112; see also id., at 40. They wrote to the licensing officer in Rensselaer County—Justice Richard McNally, a justice of the New York Supreme Court—requesting that the hunting and target shooting restrictions on their licenses be removed. Id., at 40, 111–113.
Well-funded groups like the NRA often wait for ideal test cases before they pour their time and resources into appeals. Here, supporting groups probably preferred this broad challenge to firearm carrying prohibitions to a challenge based on individual circumstances. That way, they achieve more significant and sweeping results.