The United States Supreme Court (SCOTUS) firmly struck down New York gun control laws on Thursday in a resounding 6-3 ruling.
On Thursday, the court noted, “The State of New York makes it a crime to possess a firearm without a license, whether inside or outside the home. An individual who wants to carry a firearm outside his home may obtain an unrestricted license to ‘have and carry’ a concealed ‘pistol or revolver’ if he can prove that ‘proper cause exists’ for doing so.”
However, the court’s newest ruling strikes down that law, deeming the state’s carry restrictions unconstitutional. The case was brought by the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association (NRA).
The opinion was issued by Justice Clarence Thomas:
“In 43 States, the government issues licenses to carry based on objective criteria. But in six States, including New York, the government further conditions issuance of a license to carry on a citizen’s showing of some additional special need. 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.”
Interestingly, Thomas’s opinion points out that New York State has “regulated the public carry of handguns since at least the early 20th century. In 1905, New York made it a misdemeanor for anyone over the age of 16 to ‘have or carry concealed upon his person in any city of village of [New York], any pistol, revolver or other firearm without a written licenses…issued to him by a police magistrate.’”
Thomas’s opinion also noted, “many Americans have good reason to fear that they will be victimized if they are unable to protect themselves, And today, no less than in 1791, the Second Amendment guarantees their right to do so.”
Chief Justice Kavanaugh joined Justice Thomas in a concurring opinion. Justices Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan joined the dissenting opinion.