In a significant victory for guns-rights activists, the Supreme Court of the United States on Thursday (June 23) struck down a New York gun law requiring people to demonstrate a particular need for carrying a gun in order to get a license to carry one in public.
Justice Clarence Thomas wrote the majority opinion in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc., et al. v. Bruen, Superintendent of New York State Police, et al., stating, “Apart from a few late-19th century outlier jurisdictions, American governments simply have not broadly prohibited the public carry of commonly used firearms for personal defense. Nor, subject to a few late-in-time outliers, have American governments required law-abiding, responsible citizens to “demonstrate a special need for self-protection distinguishable from that of the general community” in order to carry arms in public.”
“We know of no other constitutional right that an individual may exercise only after demonstrating to government officers some special need,” his opinion states. “New York’s proper-cause requirement violates the Fourteenth Amendment in that it prevents law-abiding citizens with ordinary self-defense needs from exercising their right to keep and bear arms.”
Nearby Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Rhode Island have laws on the books similar to New York’s; experts anticipate those and other laws will now be challenged.