WASHINGTON, D.C. – On a rainy Thursday morning, the Supreme Court released a major ruling on gun rights. In a six to three decision, the Court struck down a New York law that placed strict limits on carrying guns outside the home. New York state was one of a handful of states that had limits on carrying guns in public.
In this case, New York law requires that people wanting a license to carry a handgun outside their homes to show a “proper cause”. In the ruling, Justice Clarence Thomas wrote “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”.
This ruling follows a series of mass shootings that ignited the debate about gun control.
“I think of the parents in Uvalde, I think of the loved ones who lost someone,” said Rev. Patrick Mahoney, a gun reform advocate who was outside the Supreme Court.
The NRA applauded the Court’s decision on social media. In a press release from Wayne LaPierre, an executive vice president of the NRA, he said “Today’s ruling is a watershed win for good men and women all across America and is the result of a decades-long fight the NRA has led.”
New York governor Kathy Hochul said on social media: “It is outrageous that at a moment of national reckoning on gun violence, the Supreme Court has recklessly struck down a New York law that limits those who can carry concealed weapons. In response to this ruling, we are closely reviewing our options – including calling a special session of the legislature. Just as we swiftly passed nation-leading gun reform legislation, I will continue to do everything in my power to keep New Yorkers safe from gun violence.”
The president of the New York State Bar Association said in part: “The U.S. Supreme court has delivered an ill-conceived decision that will set us back decades and further threaten public safety”. They add that research published in a 2020 Justice Quarterly found that laws allowing more citizens to carry guns in public were tied to a rise in gun violence, and the higher a state’s gun-ownership rate, the more likely a mass shooting is to occur.
“How schizophrenic can we possibly be in our government right now,” asked Mahoney. “On one hand we are working on sensible, reasonable gun reform in congress and then right behind me they are expanding gun rights.”