The Supreme Court, by a 6-3 ruling, has struck down a New York law that required citizens to show a proper cause and good moral character in order get a license to carry a firearm outside the home. That “proper cause” and the goodness of a citizen’s “moral character” were as defined by the State’s government personnel, and if they didn’t feel like it, or if the “need” didn’t suit them, or if these Moral Superiors didn’t like the man, they blithely could deny the applied-for license.
Justice Clarence Thomas, writing for the Court, said that was unconstitutional.
“The constitutional right to bear arms in public for self-defense is not ‘a second-class right, subject to an entirely different body of rules than the other Bill of Rights guarantees,'” Thomas wrote.
Thomas added that there is “no other constitutional right” that requires an individual to demonstrate some sort of special need to government officers in order to obtain a concealed carry permit.
“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,” Thomas added.
New York’s proper-cause requirement violates the Fourteenth Amendment in that it prevents law-abiding citizens with ordinary self-defense needs from exercising their right to keep and bear arms.
Here’s New York Governor Kathy Hochul’s (D) preemptive reaction to the then-pending ruling:
Hochul vowed in May to call for an emergency legislative session this summer to craft new gun legislation as a means to work around the expected high court decision that curtailed the state’s concealed carry permit law.
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg (D) announced that his office is
analyzing this ruling and crafting gun safety legislation that will take the strongest steps possible to mitigate the damage done today.
These are canonical examples of why the 2nd Amendment is so necessary.
Notice, too, that this ruling looks like the beginning of the end for the concept of a second-class right, subject to an entirely different body of rules than the other Bill of Rights guarantees.
The Court’s ruling can be read here.