Supreme Court Strikes Down New York's Limits on Carrying Concealed Weapons in Public

The Supreme Court on Thursday struck down New York state’s concealed-carry licensing system, ruling that the state’s laws imposing limits on who could carry concealed weapons in public was unconstitutional.

New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. Bruen centers around a 1913 New York law outlining the requirements for carrying a concealed gun in public. In order to be granted a license, someone must either prove that there is a specific “proper cause,” or else have a job that makes them a target, like a judge.

The state gun association was able to successfully convince the court’s conservative majority that these regulations were unconstitutional. Paul Clement summarized the group’s point of view during oral arguments in November. “In a country with the Second Amendment as a fundamental right, simply having more firearms cannot be a problem,” he said.

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The Supreme Court ruled 6-3, along ideological lines. Conservative Justice Clarence Thomas wrote the majority opinion, arguing that the law “violates the Fourteenth Amendment by preventing law-abiding citizens with ordinary self-defense needs from exercising their Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms in public for self-defense.”

Justice Samuel Alito added that New York’s concealed-carry restrictions did not prevent the mass shooting in Buffalo last month.

The New York State Rifle decision comes 14 years after District of Columbia v. Heller, in which the court ruled 5-4 that the district’s ban on handguns and its requirement that lawfully owned guns be kept at home unloaded and disassembled was unconstitutional. While Heller effectively cleared the way for looser regulations on gun ownership by private citizens, many staunch Second Amendment advocates have been trying to push for more from the court. They got it with the decision on New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. Bruen.

This is a breaking news story and will be updated.

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