Home>Articles>Supreme Court Strikes Down NY Gun Law, Protects Right to Carry Concealed Gun in Public

Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States. (Photo: supremecourt.gov)

Supreme Court Strikes Down NY Gun Law, Protects Right to Carry Concealed Gun in Public

California’s restrictive gun laws will need to be updated by end of year

By Katy Grimes, June 23, 2022 10:07 am

Democrats want to be able to tell Americans that can’t defend yourself with a firearm. California, New York, Illinois, New Jersey, have been terrible on gun ownership rights. But they were just rebuked by the highest court in the land.

The Supreme Court on Thursday issued a decision striking down a New York gun law that puts unconstitutional restrictions on concealed carry of a gun out in public.

Justice Clarence Thomas wrote the majority opinion in the 6-3 ruling. “This ‘special need’ standard is demanding,” Thomas wrote. “For example, living or working in an area ‘noted for criminal activity’ does not suffice.” In 43 other states, Thomas noted, authorities are required to issue licenses to applicants who meet certain requirements, and officials do not have discretion to say no due to what they believe is an insufficient need,” Fox reported.

“It was like he was quoting from our Amicus Briefs,” said Sam Paredes to the Globe Thursday morning. Paredes, Executive Director of Gun Owners of California, spoke with the Globe about the Supreme Court decision and the impacts on California’s labyrinth of gun laws, many of which are unconstitutional.

In January 2019, the United States Supreme Court announced its decision to hear a case challenging New York City’s near-prohibition on owning or transporting handguns. This was so significant for Californians as the Golden State also has such restrictive gun laws.

“California is going to be a ‘shall-issue’ state!” Paredes said.

Only six States and the District of Columbia have “may issue” licensing laws instead of “shall issue,” under which authorities have discretion to deny concealed-carry licenses even when the applicant satisfies the statutory criteria, usually because the applicant has not demonstrated cause or suitability for the relevant license, the SCOTUS decision says. “Aside from New York, then, only California, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, and New Jersey have analogues to the ‘proper cause’ standard.”

Gun Owners of California joined the California Rifle and Pistol Association to file an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court regarding New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. City of New Yorkto decide whether New York City’s ban on transporting a licensed, locked and unloaded handgun to a home or shooting range outside city limits is consistent with the Second Amendment, the commerce clause and the constitutional right to travel. Their joint brief supported the parties challenging New York City’s restrictive handgun licensing prohibition scheme as a violation of the Second Amendment and other constitutional rights.

Paredes explained that New York City “allows” its citizens to own a gun and keep it at home, but they can only transport their gun to and from a city-sponsored gun range, of which there are only three. New York City gun owners have not been allowed to travel with their guns to competitions even within the state, to a second home within the state, out of state, or anywhere other than the city-sanctioned gun ranges.

Believing that New York City stepped far over the constitutionality line, Paredes said the Gun Owners of California brief submitted to the Supreme Court also addressed how district and appellate courts have blatantly thumbed their collective noses and ignored the warnings from the Supreme Court from using judicial “balancing tests” when deciding Second Amendment cases.

And that is where this Supreme Court decision is so important. In New York, gun carry permit applicants were required to provide justification or “proper cause,” for why they had to defend themselves, rather than just general self defense.

Paredes told the Globe Justice Thomas’ decision also orders states to refrain from using a two-step approval process. States may now only use “text, history, and tradition of words” actually written in the Constitution by the founders, at the time it was written.

“No New York statute defines ‘proper cause,'” Thomas said. “But New York courts have held that an applicant shows proper cause only if he can ‘demonstrate a special need for self-protection distinguishable from that of the general community.’”

Paredes said Thomas also gave directions to lower courts when addressing concealed carry issues.

What does this mean for California? Paredes said the California Legislature will need to draft legislation by the end of the year to comply with the new ruling, or the state will be sued again. “Los Angeles and San Francisco will go the way of New York,” Paredes said. “We are anxious to carry on the fight, and now we are coming from a position of strength.”

“We know of no other constitutional right that an individual may exercise only after demonstrating to government officers some special need,” Thomas wrote. “That is not how the First Amendment works when it comes to unpopular speech or the free exercise of religion. It is not how the Sixth Amendment works when it comes to a defendant’s right to confront the witnesses against him. And it is not how the Second Amendment works when it comes to public carry for self-defense.”

Read the Supreme Court decision in NEW YORK STATE RIFLE & PISTOL ASSOCIATION, INC., ET AL. v. BRUEN, SUPERINTENDENT OF NEW YORK STATE POLICE, ET AL.

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23 thoughts on “Supreme Court Strikes Down NY Gun Law, Protects Right to Carry Concealed Gun in Public

  1. Hmmm….6-3 eh? Looks like dawn finally came to “Marble Head” Roberts and he voted with the conservatives. The SCOTUS staff leaker may have done us a favor.

  2. Meanwhile the Democrat cabal in California’s legislature who are protected by armed security 24/7 and live in gated compounds with high walls are trying to deprive law-abiding California citizens of their Constitutional right to carry firearms?

  3. I found this article to be extremely well written, with a lot of in-depth and detailed information regarding the very important subject matter and the author should be commended for giving the readers a bit more
    to digest and contemplate than some of the other stories I’ve read this morning about these issues.

    Before I go any further, I’d like it to be understood that I am a staunch supporter of the 2nd Amendment, as I am with all of our Constitutions Amendments, although not necessarily for any or all of the reasons that folks reading this may automatically think.

    With that being said , I find it curious that Ms. Grimes made no mention in this piece about the other big news of the day on the subject of guns , of course being the Senate passing of federal gun safety legislation. Not even in passing .

    The absence of this information in the article leaves me to wonder if the author feels that item is of no importance or if it’s because it doesn’t fit in with her personal opinion on the matter .
    I’d like to again empathize that I think the article is very well done and that I learned a few things that I previously had not known.

    However, with the general tone of the writing, I’m having a difficult time determining if this was strictly the reporting of the news, an editorial , or a combination of both .
    It’s of my opinion that such a question shouldn’t be one for readers.
    Again, kudos for a very well written article that I enjoyed reading,

  4. found this article to be extremely well written, with a lot of in-depth and detailed information regarding the very important subject matter and the author should be commended for giving the readers a bit more
    to digest and contemplate than some of the other stories I’ve read this morning about these issues.

    Before I go any further, I’d like it to be understood that I am a staunch supporter of the 2nd Amendment, as I am with all of our Constitutions Amendments, although not necessarily for any or all of the reasons that folks reading this may automatically think.

    With that being said , I find it curious that Ms. Grimes made no mention in this piece about the other big news of the day on the subject of guns , of course being the Senate passing of federal gun safety legislation. Not even in passing .

    The absence of this information in the article leaves me to wonder if the author feels that item is of no importance or if it’s because it doesn’t fit in with her personal opinion on the matter .
    I’d like to again empathize that I think the article is very well done and that I learned a few things that I previously had not known.

    However, with the general tone of the writing, I’m having a difficult time determining if this was strictly the reporting of the news, an editorial , or a combination of both .
    It’s of my opinion that such a question shouldn’t be one for readers.
    Again, kudos for a very well written article that I enjoyed reading,

    1. This article was published before the announcement of the Senate’s vote on the federal gun safety legislation. We will follow up on all of the gun-related decisions.

      1. Oh, I did not know that. Please accept my sincere apology for making any assumptions that subsequently may have contributed to some of my comments being unfair under that circumstance, Ms. Grimes.

  5. Without Trump following the Constitutional wisdom of the Federalists and standing up to the smear campaigns of the left, the court would have remained hostage to the wimps the establishment GOP so often appointed. Reelect Trump or find someone with cajones unafraid to be disliked by the polite to tyranny crowd. It is hard to find politicians whose deeds match their words.

  6. CA will pull every dirty Democrat trick to make this not happen, including horrendous fees and other tests. I still can’t buy ammo in CA if I don’t reveal where my firearm is “registered and stored”. There is still plenty of work to do. Everyone needs to join GOC and the CRPA.

  7. Not just concealed. This decision protects against any gun control legislation that is not consistent with historical regulation near the time 2A and 14A were adopted. Open carry is arguably even more protected than concealed carry, though this protects both pretty well. Eliminating means-end scrutiny surprised a lot of us. Great decision.

  8. Correct me if i am wrong, but I believe this SC decision also makes legal OPEN Carry, like a holstered handgun on your belt in the open. That would avoid dealing with the bureaucracy of an application for a concealed permit

  9. My question is when are all these unAmerican libtarded politicians in this state going to be arrested, tried as traitors and executed for violating their oaths of office?

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