On Thursday, the Supreme Court invalidated a New York legislation.
A lower court decision maintaining New York’s 108-year-old rule restricting who can acquire a license to carry a concealed firearm in public was overturned by the Supreme Court in a 6-3 vote.
Gun control laws in multiple states could be in jeopardy, and more weapons could end up on city streets, according to the measure’s supporters, who warned that a high court decision to invalidate it could do so.
The ideologically divided court’s majority judgment was written by Justice Clarence Thomas, who argued that New York’s licensing system was unconstitutional because it prohibited law-abiding residents from exercising their Second Amendment rights due to its “proper-cause requirement.”
“We know of no other constitutional right that an individual may exercise only after demonstrating to government officers some special need,” Thomas wrote.
“The constitutional right to bear arms in public for self-defense is not ‘a second-class right, subject to an entirely different body of rules than the other Bill of Rights guarantees’.”
When it comes to the free exercise of religion or controversial speech, the First Amendment does not operate in that way. When it comes to a defendant’s right to cross-examine the witnesses against him, that is not how the Sixth Amendment operates.
And that’s not how the Second Amendment operates when it comes to carrying a weapon in public for self-defense.
Justice Stephen Breyer, who represents the liberal wing of the court, warned that the court’s ruling will place a “severe” burden on states seeking to enact stricter gun laws by pointing out the growth in gun violence in the U.S. and the prevalence of firearms.