Friday, June 24, 2022

Scotus Defends Second Amendment Overturns New York Tyrannical Law

Supreme Court Decision on New York Second Amendment Case: A Blog Post

On June 23, 2022, the Supreme Court of the United States issued a landmark ruling on the case of **New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc. v. Bruen**, striking down a New York state law that required applicants for a license to carry a concealed handgun in public to show "proper cause" or a special need for self-defense. The Court held that the law violated the Second Amendment, which protects the right of the people to keep and bear arms for self-defense.

The case was brought by the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association (NYSRPA), an affiliate of the National Rifle Association, and two individuals who were denied concealed carry licenses by New York authorities despite meeting the basic requirements of age, citizenship, and lack of criminal record. They argued that the proper cause requirement was arbitrary and subjective, and that it effectively prevented law-abiding citizens from exercising their constitutional right to bear arms outside the home.

The Court agreed with the plaintiffs, ruling 6-3 that the proper cause requirement was inconsistent with the historical understanding and tradition of the Second Amendment. Writing for the majority, Justice Clarence Thomas said that "the right to bear arms is not a second-class right, subject to an entirely different body of rules than the other Bill of Rights guarantees". He cited historical evidence that showed that Americans have always valued the right to carry firearms for self-defense, and that most states have adopted "shall-issue" permitting systems that grant concealed carry licenses to anyone who meets objective criteria, such as passing a background check.

Thomas also rejected the arguments of New York and other "may-issue" states that have similar laws, such as Hawaii, California, and Massachusetts, that their laws were necessary to protect public safety and prevent crime. He said that there was no conclusive evidence that restricting concealed carry reduces violent crime, and that some studies have suggested the opposite effect. He also said that New York's law was not narrowly tailored to serve a compelling government interest, as it imposed a blanket ban on most people who wished to carry a handgun for self-defense.

The majority opinion was joined by Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett. Alito wrote a concurring opinion, in which he criticized lower courts for failing to apply the Supreme Court's previous decisions on the Second Amendment, such as **District of Columbia v. Heller** (2008) and **McDonald v. Chicago** (2010), which affirmed the individual right to possess firearms for self-defense in the home. Kavanaugh also wrote a concurring opinion, joined by Roberts, in which he expressed his agreement with Thomas's historical analysis and his hope that lower courts would follow the Court's guidance on future Second Amendment cases. Barrett wrote another concurring opinion, in which she emphasized the importance of textualism and originalism in interpreting the Constitution.

The dissenting opinion was written by Justice Stephen Breyer, and joined by Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan. Breyer argued that the majority's historical approach was flawed and selective, and that it ignored the practical realities and consequences of its decision. He said that the proper cause requirement was consistent with a long history of regulating firearms in public places, and that it served a vital interest in protecting public safety and preventing gun violence. He also said that the majority's decision undermined the ability of states and localities to adopt reasonable gun regulations that suit their specific needs and circumstances.

The Supreme Court's decision in **NYSRPA v. Bruen** has been widely seen as a major victory for gun rights advocates and a significant expansion of the Court's gun jurisprudence. It has also sparked a wave of legal challenges to other federal and state gun laws, such as bans on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, background check requirements, and red flag laws . The decision has also been criticized by some lower court judges, legal scholars, and gun control activists as unworkable, dangerous, and out of touch with reality.

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