As the nation awaits the potential for a new gun control bill to pass the House in the coming days, the Supreme Court is making some moves of their own in regard to the Second Amendment.
A bipartisan gun control effort has already passed its test in the Senate, surely riding the emotional coattail of the horror we all witnessed in Uvalde, Texas. Now it heads to the House, where the NRA and former President Donald Trump are both pressuring lawmakers to reconsider their support for the bill.
But over in the Judicial Branch, the right to bear arms is getting a little boost.
The Supreme Court Thursday ruled 6-3 that New York’s regulations that made it difficult to obtain a license to carry a concealed handgun were unconstitutionally restrictive, and that it should be easier to obtain such a license.
The existing standard required an applicant to show “proper cause” for seeking a license, and allowed New York officials to exercise 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 was a stern one, without much wiggle room for the Empire State.
“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 Clarence Thomas wrote in the Court’s opinion, referencing two previous gun cases. “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.”
New York lawmakers have already begun fuming over the ruling, vowing to snatch back some of their previous infringements in future legislation.