Wednesday, September 27, 2023

US Supreme Court Shoots Down NY Gun Law

The United States Supreme Court struck down a century-old gun law enacted by New York State, stating that the law violates the U.S. Constitution. The decision was based on the ongoing legal case of the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association versus Bruen.

New York’s concealed carry law has always required a pistol permit applicant to establish “proper cause” and a “special need” to obtain a license. The court decision ruled that this violates the Constitution because it prevents law-abiding citizens with ordinary self-defense needs from exercising their Second Amendment right.

The ruling was a 6-3 decision by the Supreme Court. Justice Clarence Thomas wrote the opinion for the majority. Justice Stephen Breyer wrote the dissenting opinion.

The court clarified that several other restrictions will remain in place. First, the ruling does not preclude state and local laws which prevent convicted felons and those with mental health issues from obtaining guns. Second, firearms may continue to be banned in sensitive locations, such as schools and government buildings. Third, applicants for pistol permits would still undergo a background check, fingerprinting, mental health records checks, and firearms training.

New York Governor Kathy Hochul, a Democrat, was enraged. She stated, “Shocking, absolutely shocking that they have taken away our right to have reasonable restrictions. We can have restrictions on speech. You can’t yell fire in a crowded theater, but somehow there’s no restrictions allowed on the second amendment.” She suggested calling the state legislators back into session.

U.S. Congressman Lee Zeldin, a Republican candidate for New York governor, supported the ruling. “This decision marks a historic, proper, and necessary victory for law abiding citizens of New York, whose Second Amendment rights have been under constant attack. It reaffirms their inherent right to safely and securely carry to protect themselves, their families and their loved ones, and the principle that this Constitutional right shall not be infringed.”

In their decision, the Supreme Court explained, “The constitutional right to bear arms in public for self defense is not a second-class right, subject to an entirely different body of rules than the other Bill of Rights guarantees. We know of no other constitutional right that an individual may exercise only after demonstrating to government officers some special need. That is not how the First Amendment works when it comes to unpopular speech or the free exercise of religion. It is not how the Sixth Amendment
works when it comes to a defendant’s right to confront the witnesses against him. And it is not how the Second Amendment works when it comes to public carry for self defense.”

See the full decision here:

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