The Supreme Court of the United States has struck a blow for the Second Amendment in a major ruling upholding Americans’ right to concealed carry firearms in a case from New York.
Justice Clarence Thomas authored the majority 6-3 ruling in the case New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen on Thursday. SCOTUS heard arguments on the case in November regarding the law’s requirement to demonstrate a “proper cause” to obtain a concealed carry permit for a pistol or revolver.
Thomas wrote in the 6-3 decision that the Second Amendment guarantees the right of American citizens to carry a gun outside the home. New York’s “proper-cause” requirement to obtain a concealed-carry license therefore “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,” Thomas wrote.
The Supreme Court’s decision was based on applying the Heller test.
To determine whether a firearm regulation is consistent with the Second Amendment, Heller and McDonald point toward at least two relevant metrics: first, whether modern and historical regulations impose a comparable burden on the right of armed self-defense, and second, whether that regulatory burden is comparably justified. Because “individual self-defense is ‘the central component’ of the Second Amendment right,” these two metrics are “ ‘central’ ” considerations when engaging in an analogical inquiry. McDonald, 561 U. S., at 767 (quoting Heller, 554 U. S., at 599).
To be clear, even if a modern-day regulation is not a dead ringer for historical precursors, it still may be analogous enough to pass constitutional muster. For example, courts can use analogies to “longstanding” “laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings” to determine whether modern regulations are constitutionally permissible. Id., at 626. That said, respondents’ attempt to characterize New York’s proper-cause requirement as a “sensitive-place” law lacks merit because there is no historical basis for New York to effectively declare the island of Manhattan a “sensitive place” simply because it is crowded and protected generally by the New York City Police Department. Pp. 17–22. (b) Having made the constitutional standard endorsed in Heller more explicit, the Court applies that standard to New York’s proper cause requirement.
The three dissenting justices were Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan. Read the entire ruling below:
The SCOTUS decision comes amid a push in the U.S. Congress to pass a sweeping new push for gun control legislation, including a legally dubious provision on “red flag” laws that might conceivably violate Second Amendment rights, as well as Fifth Amendment due process rights.
On Tuesday, 14 Republican Senators joined with the Democratic Party to advance the bill to the Senate floor for a vote. Ten GOP Senators appear poised to vote for the package. Meanwhile, House Republicans are making a show of resistance to the bill, which would be all but passed if Senate Republicans are commited to defecting.
The Supreme Court decision upholding Second Amendment rights rendered on Thursday comes in the aftermath of the Uvalde, Texas mass shooting that killed at least 19 schoolchildren and two adults. The decision his already causing shockwaves throughout the mainstream media, as radical Democrats and left-leaning Republicans alike scheme for ways to limit law-abiding American citizens’ gun rights.
OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion.