The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday morning struck down a New York state gun law that made it difficult to obtain a handgun carry permit.
In an opinion penned by Justice Clarence Thomas, the court ruled 6-3 to strike down the New York law.
“Because the State of New York issues public-carry licenses only when an applicant demonstrates a special need for self-defense, we conclude that the State’s licensing regime violates the Constitution,” Thomas wrote for the court’s 6-3 majority.
Thomas writes that the Second and Fourteenth Amendments safeguard Americans’ right to carry a handgun for self-defense.
The court holds that New York’s “proper cause” requirement to obtain a concealed-carry license violates the Constitution by preventing law-abiding citizens with self-defense needs from exercising their Second Amendment right to bear arms in public.
As Constitutional lawyer Jonathan Turley noted on Twitter:
“New York’s proper-cause requirement 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.
“In keeping with Heller, we hold that when the Second Amendment’s plain text covers an individual’s conduct, the Constitution presumptively protects that conduct. To justify its regulation, the government may not simply posit that the regulation promotes an important interest.”
The decision will have an eventual impact on New York and seven other states with a similar “proper cause” (or “May Issue”) requirement on the concealed carry of guns in public. Going forward, these states will have to change their permit-issuing scheme to “Shall Issue.”
SCOTUSblog responds to the ruling by saying: “What a great day for our Constitution!”