Washington — The Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that Americans have a wide range of rights to arm in public, breaking New York law that imposes strict restrictions on bringing guns out of the house, with similar restrictions. Started scrambling in one other state.
The decision is expected to spur a wave of proceedings to ease existing state and federal restrictions, with five Americans living in California, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, and New Jersey. It will force the state to rewrite the law.
The ruling was carried on the day the Senate approached approval of a series of conservative gun control measures, following the shootings in Buffalo and Uvarde, Texas last month. This is a big step towards ending a long-standing stalemate in Congress.
The 6-3 ruling reiterated the power of six conservative judges, all in favor of a New York law strike, in setting the national agenda on social issues. Three liberal members of the court objected.
The second constitutional amendment, written by Judge Clarence Thomas for the majority, protects “the individual’s right to carry a pistol outside the home for self-defense.” Judge Thomas wrote that the state could continue to ban guns in some places, such as schools and government buildings, but the ruling was published in places where such bans could be granted. It stayed.
Immediately after the ruling was issued, New York Governor Kathy Hokul called for a reconvene of the Legislature as early as next month to enact new measures to enable the state to maintain existing regulations. I swore. Democratic lawmakers in Maryland also proposed rewriting the law to overcome the expected legal challenges.
“We are already dealing with the crisis of massive gun violence,” Hochul said. “No need to add fuel to this fire.”
So-called cases may issue laws that give government authorities substantial discretion in issuing gun licenses.
In favor of what seems to limit the spread of the majority opinion, Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh joins Judge John G. Roberts Jr. and the “issuing” law uses objective criteria. I wrote that it probably stayed in the Constitution. The state was generally free to request, he wrote, “Fingerprints, background checks, mental health record checks, and legal training in the handling of firearms and the use of force.”
Judge Kavanaugh also extensively quoted the court’s 2008 decision in District of Columbia vs. Heller, which appears to support other restrictions.
President Biden condemned the ruling and described himself as “extremely disappointed.” “It contradicts both common sense and the Constitution and should bother us all deeply,” he added.
Gun advocates welcomed Thursday’s decision. “The court has revealed that the right to the second amendment to possess weapons is not limited to homes,” said Larry Keane, chief executive officer of the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the top trading group in the gun industry. I did. “The responsibility lies with the government, which justifies the restrictions, not the individuals who justify the need to exercise their rights to the government.”
Firearm maker stocks rose on Wall Street, while Smith & Wesson rose more than 9%.
Jonathan Lowy, a lawyer for the gun control group Brady, said the decision was a serious failure. “With a pen stroke, today’s Supreme Court invented the right to carry a gun loaded virtually anywhere that could shoot and kill others,” he said in a statement.
The proceedings centered around a lawsuit from two men who were denied the license they were seeking in New York, “the state makes it virtually impossible for citizens who comply with general law to obtain a license.” Said.
Men Robert Nash and Brandon Koch were allowed to carry guns for target practice and hunting from densely populated areas, state officials told the Supreme Court, and Koch said he would carry guns for work. approved.
Judge Thomas wrote that it may not be necessary to explain to the government why citizens tried to exercise their constitutional rights.
“We have no other constitutional right that an individual can exercise only after showing special needs to government officials,” he wrote.
“It’s not how the First Amendment works when it comes to unpopular speech and the free exercise of religion,” he added. “It is not how the Sixth Amendment works with respect to the defendant’s right to confront the Witnesses, and it is how the Constitutional Amendment Article 2 with respect to public transport for self-defense. It doesn’t work. “
The majority opinion has released general criteria for courts to determine restrictions on gun rights. This relies on historical evaluation. “The government needs to demonstrate that the regulations are in line with the historical tradition of firearms regulation in this country.”
Judge Thomas rejected the standards used in most lower courts to consider whether the law promotes significant government interests in focusing on history.
He admitted that the historical investigation currently required by the court is not always easy.
Judge Thomas wrote that the state continues to ban guns freely in sensitive areas, giving some examples: schools, government buildings, legislative councils, polling stations, courthouses. But he simply extends the “sensitive places” category to all places in the public congregation that are not isolated from law enforcement agencies, which defines the “sensitive places” category too broadly. I will do it. “
Judge Stephen G. Breyer, who disputed, said the majority’s guidance was inadequate and the scope of the court’s decision was unclear.
“What about subways, nightclubs, cinemas and sports stadiums?” Judge Breyer wrote. “The court does not say.”
Judge Breyer’s dissent, with the addition of Judges Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, focused on the deadly sacrifice of gun violence.
“In 2020,” he wrote. “45,222 Americans were killed by firearms. Since the beginning of this year, 277 mass shootings have been reported. This averages more than once a day. Gun violence is now in children and adolescents. It exceeds car accidents as the main cause of death. “
In favor, Judge Samuel A. Arito, Jr. responded to the objection.
“In most of the lengthy referral sections of the opposition, it’s hard to understand what legitimate purpose could be served,” he wrote. “For example, why do you think it is appropriate for an objection to reconsider recent mass shootings? The objection believes that a law like New York would prevent or deter such atrocities. Do you have?
“If we knew it was illegal to take a pistol out of the house, could anyone who succumbed to a mass shooting be stopped?” Judge Arito asked. “And how does the dissent explain the fact that one of the shootings at the top of the list took place in Buffalo? The New York law in question in this case is: Apparently it didn’t stop the perpetrator. “
Judge Breyer questioned the majority methodology for determining the constitutionality of gun control law in this case, New York Rifle & Pistol Association v Bruen, Nos. 20-843.
“Not only is an almost exclusive reliance on the history of the court unnecessary, it is very unrealistic,” he wrote. “It imposes a task on the lower court that judges cannot easily accomplish.”
He wrote that the judge was not a historian. “Legal professionals usually have little experience in answering disputed historical questions or applying those answers to solve modern problems,” he added. In court facing modern problems. “
In Heller’s decision, the Supreme Court granted the individual’s right to keep guns at home for self-defense. Since then, the scope of rights in Article 2 of the Constitutional Amendment has been largely silent.
Indeed, over the years, the court has dismissed countless appeals in the Constitutional Amendment Article 2 proceedings. Meanwhile, lower courts generally upheld gun control legislation.
The court’s reluctance to hear the proceedings of Article 2 of the Constitutional Amendment has changed as its membership has shifted to the right in recent years. President Donald J. Trump’s three appointed Judges, Judge Kavanaugh, Judge Neil M. Gorsuch, and Judge Amy Coney Barrett have all expressed support for gun rights.
And the most conservative members of the Supreme Court have long lamented the court’s reluctance to explore the meaning and scope of Article 2 of the Constitutional Amendment.
In 2017, Judge Thomas wrote that he discovered “a miserable tendency: treating Article 2 of the Constitutional Amendment as a disadvantageous right.”
“For those of us working in a marble hall that is constantly guarded by vigilant and devoted police, the guarantee of Article 2 of the Constitutional Amendment may seem outdated and unnecessary,” wrote Judge Thomas. “But Framer made a definite choice. They reserved the right of all Americans to have weapons for self-defense.”
Glen Slash Report that contributed.