The U.S Supreme Court on Thursday overturned a New York handgun law requiring individuals with concealed carry permits to prove a “proper cause” to carry a handgun in public. The permit requirement effectively prevented any law-abiding gun owners from carrying a firearm outside.
In the landmark 6-3 ruling, the court's conservative majority ruled for the first time that the Second Amendment protects gun rights outside the home.
The ruling could have a massive impact on some of America’s most populous cities such as Chicago and Los Angeles. New York is one of six states alongside California, New Jersey, Maryland, Massachusetts, and Hawaii with laws that prevent most individuals from legally carrying a handgun outside, Bloomberg reports.
“We know of no other constitutional right that an individual may exercise only after demonstrating to government officials some special need,” said Justice Clarence Thomas in the ruling.
Liberals took to Twitter to protest the ruling, citing the recent mass shootings including the one in Uvalde, Texas, and Buffalo, New York, as reasons to clamp down on gun rights across the United States.
“It has become necessary to dissolve the Supreme Court of the United States,” wrote liberal pundit Keith Olbermann. “The first step is for a state, the ‘court’ has now forced the guns upon to ignore this ruling.”
He added: “Great. You’re a court? Why and how do you think you can enforce your rulings?”
Olbermann was not alone in his dissent of the ruling. Neal Katyal, the former Solicitor General of the United States wrote, “Gonna be very weird if Supreme Court ends a constitutional right to obtain an abortion next week, saying it should be left to the States to decide, right after it just imposed a constitutional right to concealed carry of firearms, saying it cannot be left to the States to decide.”
British commentator and anti-gun activist Piers Morgan wrote, “BREAKING: America’s response to its recent mass shootings is to make it even easier for Americans to use guns. The 2nd Amendment is now being interpreted as a right to bear arms as part of an unregulated civilian militia.”
Someone ought to inform Morgan that the right to bear arms is not a privilege limited to a “well-regulated Militia,” but rather that the Second Amendment calls upon Americans who have the right to keep and bear arms to also form a well-regulated militia, which is necessary to the security of any free state against tyranny.
The ruling was the court’s biggest gun-rights decision in more than a decade. It underscored the impact of the three justices appointed by former President Donald Trump: Justices Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett, all of whom joined the majority.
The three liberals -- Justices Stephen Breyer, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor -- dissented.
“New York’s legislature considered the empirical evidence about gun violence and adopted a reasonable licensing law to regulate the concealed carriage of handguns in order to keep the people of New York safe,” Breyer wrote for the group.