President Joe Biden and New York State Governor Kathy Hochul condemned Thursday’s Supreme Court ruling that will upend New York gun control efforts.
New York State Rifle and Pistol Association’s victory in their case means the Empire State may no longer require gun owners to show “special cause” for unrestricted carry of guns.
“I am deeply disappointed by the Supreme Court’s ruling in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen,” President Joe Biden said Thursday. “Since 1911, the State of New York has required individuals who would like to carry a concealed weapon in public to show a need to do so for the purpose of self-defense and to acquire a license.”
The president bemoaned the high court’s decision that overturns more than one century of a perceived authority claimed by New York to regulate Second Amendment rights.
“This ruling contradicts both common sense and the Constitution, and should deeply trouble us all,” President Biden added.
Hochul declared the U.S. only had access to muskets when the Second Amendment was written and that she was “prepared to go back to muskets” through gun restrictions.
“We are still dealing with families in pain from mass shootings that have occurred, the loss of life, their beloved children and grandchildren,” Hochul said. “Today, the Supreme Court struck down a New York law that limits who can carry concealed weapons.”
The Supreme Court’s majority opinion explained that the constitutional right to bear arms in public for self-defense is not a second-class right with different rules than the other Bill of Rights guarantee.
“The exercise of other constitutional rights does not require individuals to demonstrate to government officers some special need,” the justices argued. “The Second Amendment right to carry arms in public for self defense is no different.”
“New York’s proper-cause requirement violates the Fourteenth Amendment by preventing law-abiding citizens with ordinary self-defense needs from exercising their right to keep and bear arms in public.”
Brandon Koch and Robert Nash were described by the court as adult, law-abiding New York residents. They made separate applications for unrestricted licenses to carry a handgun in public based on a generalized interest in self-defense. New York State officials denied both unrestricted license applications, allegedly because neither of them satisfied the state’s “proper cause” requirement.
There is no New York statute that defines “proper cause,” and that gave state officials broad leeway to deny concealed handgun licenses. A 2011 New York Times report found about 4,000 people (out of NYC’s 18 million residents) had permits to carry concealed handguns citywide. The vast majority tended to be retired cops, active security guards and business owners who handle significant amounts of cash, along with a few well-to-do famous names.
New York officials outside the city are not quite as restrictive, but it is still a difficult, daunting, time-consuming and expensive process.
At least it used to be, until Thursday’s ruling by the Supreme Court.
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