Supreme Court Gives Big Win to Gun Rights Advocates

Justices strike down New York law restricting who can carry concealed weapons
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 23, 2022 9:46 AM CDT
Updated Jun 23, 2022 10:18 AM CDT
Supreme Court Gives Big Win to Gun Rights Advocates
The US Supreme Court Building on Capitol Hill in Washington on June 9.   (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

(Newser) – The Supreme Court handed advocates for gun rights a major victory on Thursday with a ruling expected to make it easier for people to carry concealed handguns:

  • Decision: The court struck down a New York law requiring that people who want to carry concealed weapons must show a "proper cause" for doing so, reports the New York Times. The 6-3 decision split along the court's conservative and liberal lines.
  • Majority: The court's conservative justices declared that New York's law was so restrictive that it violated the Constitution. "The Second and Fourteenth Amendments protect an individual's right to carry a handgun for self-defense outside the home,” wrote Clarence Thomas, per the Washington Post. His opinion declared that the state's law violated that principle.

  • Dissent: "Many States have tried to address some of the dangers of gun violence ... by passing laws that limit, in various ways, who may purchase, carry, or use firearms of different kinds," wrote Stephen Breyer. "The Court today severely burdens States' efforts to do so."
  • Precedent: The ruling will have consequences beyond New York, notes the AP. For example, California, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Rhode Island have "proper cause" laws similar to New York's, and those will likely be challenged, too. The AP estimates that a quarter of the US population currently lives in states expected to be affected by the ruling.
  • Background: New York's law has been on the books for more than a century, notes the Post. Two men, Robert Nash and Brandon Koch, sued, saying it made it "virtually impossible for the ordinary law-abiding citizen to obtain a license," per the Times. The court agreed.
(Read more US Supreme Court stories.)

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