The U.S. Supreme Court has struck down a New York concealed carry gun law that requires people to show “proper cause” to get a license. It allowed officials to arbitrarily use their own personal discretion in determining whether a person has shown a good enough reason for needing to carry a firearm. Stating that one wished to protect themselves or their property was not enough.
The ruling is seen as a big win for Second Amendment advocates. The case, New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc. v. Bruen, was the first major gun rights case before the Supreme Court in more than a decade and one of the most closeley watched this term.
Writing the opinion for the 6-3 majority, Justice Clarence Thomas wrote that “New York’s proper-cause requirement violates the Fourteenth Amendment by preventing law-abiding citizens with ordinary self-defense needs from exercising their Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms in public for self-defense.”
The ruling, which fell along the high court’s ideological lines, said that New York’s rule – which is more than a century old – violates the Second Amendment right to “keep and bear arms.” The decision is the first major Second Amendment opinion from the Supreme Court in more than a decade.
“In this case, petitioners and respondents agree that ordinary, law-abiding citizens have a similar right to carry handguns publicly for their self-defense. We too agree, and now hold, consistent with Heller and McDonald, that the Second and Fourteenth Amendments protect an individual’s right to carry a handgun for self-defense outside the home,” Justice Thomas wrote in the Court’s opinion. “Because the State of New York issues public-carry licenses only when an applicant demonstrates a special need for self-defense, we conclude that the State’s licensing regime violates the Constitution.”
Several other states, including California, Hawaii and Massachusetts, have similar restrictions on the books, which will likely face similar challenges because of Thursday’s ruling. The ruling could allow for more people to carry guns in some of the United States’ largest cities, including Boston, Los Angeles and New York.
While gun rights advocates celebrated the decision, others expressed outrage, including New York Democrat Gov. Hochul, who pledged to take action, including raising the possibility of calling the state’s legislature into session to address the move.
“It is outrageous that at a moment of national reckoning on gun violence, the Supreme Court has recklessly struck down a New York law that limits those who can carry concealed weapons,” Hochul wrote on Twitter after the decision.
“In response to this ruling, we are closely reviewing our options – including calling a special session of the legislature,” she added. “Just as we swiftly passed nation-leading gun reform legislation, I will continue to do everything in my power to keep New Yorkers safe from gun violence.”
–Metro Voice and wire services