On Friday, the constitutional right to an abortion protected by Roe v. Wade was overturned, while on Thursday, any state restrictions on concealed carry gun rights were also overturned.
The results of President Trump adding conservative justices to the Supreme Court (SCOTUS) are consequential beyond what anyone on the right or left imagined.
In terms of gun legislation, SCOTUS decided carrying guns in public cannot be restricted by state laws.
What Does This Ruling Mean?
In practice, this ruling makes room for more armed people to legally carry their weapons in public at a time when the country is debating ways to prevent further massacres.
The decision comes in the same week that Republicans and Democrats introduced a bill to limit access to firearms with more red flag laws and stricter background checks on buyers under 21.
Specifically, the Supreme Court ruled a 1913 New York state law that required people interested in walking with a pistol on the streets to submit a justification for it as unconstitutional.
The decision was handed down 6 to 3, with the six conservative justices voting in favor.
SCOTUS just struck down New York’s unconstitutional gun law!
— Lauren Boebert (@laurenboebert) June 23, 2022
SCOTUS Decides NY-Style Restrictions Unconstitutional
A majority of judges ruled restrictions like New York’s go against the Second Amendment to the Constitution, which guarantees citizens the right to possess weapons in the United States.
This is the most relevant decision on the issue since 2010, when the Supreme Court ruled Chicago’s ban on firearms was unconstitutional.
Other states, such as Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, and New Jersey, have similar laws, which will now also expire.
Initial analyses indicate the decision is one of the most significant expansions of the right to carry weapons ever made in the country.
Over the decades, the Supreme Court has positioned itself a few times on the issue, which has left room for state-wide regulation.
Biden, who proposed projects to restrict access to guns in the country, says he is deeply disappointed by this decision.
For New York Governor Kathy Hochul, the decision is absolutely shocking and she called the day of the decision a day of darkness.
Today’s SCOTUS ruling is exactly the kind of dangerous decision we’ve come to expect.⁰
CA isn't sitting by – we're working to strengthen our public-carry law & defend Californians' rights.
Gun safety laws save lives. We’ll continue to lead the fight to keep people safe. pic.twitter.com/Z1tInW8pfI
— Office of the Governor of California (@CAgovernor) June 24, 2022
The Bottom Line
The National Rifle Association (NRA), the leading pro-gun lobby in the US, promptly praised the decision on Twitter. At the same time, Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee also expressed support for the change.
The decision is yet another effect of the appointments of three conservative judges by former President Trump, who broadened the court’s conservative base.
The case that reached the Supreme Court was initiated by two men, Robert Nash and Brandon Koch.
They questioned the law because they failed to get permission to walk armed at all times in New York. They argued the rule limited the chances of citizens defending themselves.
Thursday’s ruling states the Constitution protects an individual’s right to carry a weapon for self-defense outside the home across the country.
Justice Clarence Thomas says there is no other constitutional right that a person can exercise only after demonstrating to government officials some special need.
On the other hand, for Stephen Breyer of the progressive wing of the court, the decision ignores dangers that gun ownership poses to the country.