(Headline USA) In a major affirmation of Constitutionally-endowed gun rights, the Supreme Court said Thursday that Americans have a right to carry firearms in public, striking down New York’s backdoor attempt to underming the Second Amendment with excessive regulation.
The justices’ 6–3 decision is expected ultimately to allow more people to legally carry guns on the streets of the nation’s largest cities—including New York, Los Angeles and Boston—and elsewhere.
About a quarter of the U.S. population lives in states expected to be affected by the ruling, the high court’s first major gun decision in more than a decade.
The ruling comes as Congress is working toward passage of controversial gun legislation following a spate of recent mass shootings.
It is unclear whether the court’s decision to wade into the New York case could portend future challenges to the current legislation, which is expected to pass with the support of more than a dozen RINO senators despite the alarming implications from proposed “red-flag” laws.
Justice Clarence Thomas wrote for the majority that the Constitution protects “an individual’s right to carry a handgun for self-defense outside the home.”
In their decision, the justices struck down a New York law requiring people to demonstrate a particular need for carrying a gun in order to get a license to carry one in public. The justices said that requirement violates the Second Amendment right to “keep and bear arms.”
Bureaucrats in the deep-blue state had used the requirement as an effective gun ban by subjectively determining that no legal gun-owners demonstrated such a need or simply forstalling the permit process.
California, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Rhode Island all have similar laws. The Biden administration had urged the justices to uphold New York’s law.
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said the decision comes at a particularly painful time, when New York is still mourning the deaths of 10 people in a mass shooting at a supermarket in Buffalo.
“This decision isn’t just reckless. It’s reprehensible. It’s not what New Yorkers want,” she claimed.
The accused Buffalo killer left a manifesto in which he identified himself as an “authoritarian” leftist, raising questions as to whether his true intent might have been helping his fellow Democrats use a sense of crisis in order to bolster their pre-existing gun-grab efforts.
In a dissent joined by his left-leaning colleagues, Justice Stephen Breyer focused on the toll taken by gun violence rather than the constitutionality of the law. “Since the start of this year alone (2022), there have already been 277 reported mass shootings—an average of more than one per day,“ Breyer wrote.
Statistics collected on that broadly sweep up any gun-based crime involving multiple injuries, regardless of context or motive. Nonetheless, leftists have been eager to turn a blind eye to the enforcement of existing gun laws in many urban, Democrat-led regions, where much of the gun violence is committed.
In most of the country gun owners have little difficulty legally carrying their weapons in public. But that had been harder to do in New York and the handful of states with similar laws. New York’s law, which has been in place since 1913, says that to carry a concealed handgun in public, a person applying for a license has to show “proper cause,” a specific need to carry the weapon.
Officially, the state issues both unrestricted licenses where a person can carry their gun anywhere and restricted licenses that allow a person to carry the weapon but just for specific purposes such as hunting and target shooting or to and from their place of business. However, few average law-abiding citizens are granted the former, leading to a sort of two-tiered justice system.
The Supreme Court last issued a major gun decision in 2010. In that decision and a ruling from 2008 the justices established a nationwide right to keep a gun at home for self-defense. The question for the court this time was about carrying one outside the home.
The challenge to the New York law was brought by the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, which describes itself as the nation’s oldest firearms advocacy organization, and two men seeking an unrestricted ability to carry guns outside their homes.
Adapted from reporting by the Associated Press