Supreme Court Strikes Down N.Y. Concealed Carry Law—Could Lead To Rollbacks Nationwide
The Supreme Court struck down a New York law Thursday that only lets firearm owners receive a concealed carry license if they have “proper cause,” a blow to gun control advocates that marks the court’s most significant Second Amendment ruling in over a decade and could roll back gun control measures across the country.
The Supreme Court ruled 6-3 in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen that New York’s concealed carry law violates the Fourteenth Amendment, by stopping “law-abiding citizens with ordinary self-defense needs” from practicing their Second Amendment right to bear arms.
The challenge, brought by gun owners in the state, argued New York’s law that only gave licenses to firearm owners who have “proper cause” was unlawful under the Second Amendment, because licenses are too often denied and the decisions are left up to the personal discretion of individual licensing officers.
Justices agreed that the law was overly burdensome, with Justice Clarence Thomas writing for the court’s majority that the Second Amendment is not some “second-class right,” and other constitutional rights don’t “require individuals to demonstrate to government officers some special need.”
The Second Amendment’s definition of the right to “bear arms” includes “carrying handguns publicly for self-defense,” the court ruled, rejecting New York’s argument that the law is in line with historical precedents that limit how firearms can be carried in public places.
Justices also disputed New York’s argument that the law is designed to help keep firearms out of “sensitive places” where more people congregate, ruling that distinction was too broad, and Thomas argued there’s “no historical basis for New York to effectively declare the island of Manhattan a ‘sensitive place’ simply because it is crowded.”