The Supreme Court has struck down New York’s century-old law restricting the carrying of concealed firearms, its first major Second Amendment decision in more than a decade and a ruling that could lead to more guns on the streets.
Writing for the 6-3 majority, Justice Clarence Thomas said Thursday that the law’s requirement of New Yorkers who want a permit to carry a handgun in public to show “proper cause” that the weapon is specifically needed for self-defense “violates the Fourteenth Amendment by preventing law-abiding citizens with ordinary self-defense needs from exercising their right to keep and bear arms in public.”
Though the decision concerns New York law, it is likely to affect a handful of other states with similar permitting regimes, including California, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Rhode Island.
In a separate opinion concurring with Thomas, Justice Brett Kavanaugh and Chief Justice John Roberts wrote that Thursday’s ruling does not preclude state and local restrictions on gun ownership by felons and the mentally ill — or laws banning the carrying of firearms in “sensitive locations” like schools and government buildings.
“Properly interpreted, the Second Amendment allows a ‘variety’ of gun regulations,” wrote Roberts and Kavanaugh, who also noted that states can still make applicants for a firearm license “undergo fingerprinting, a background check, a mental health records check, and training in firearms handling and in laws regarding the use of force, among other possible requirements.”
Mayor Eric Adams emphasized at a news conference with NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell that “nothing changes today” as a result of the ruling, noting that the decision was remanded to the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals to reconsider its earlier decision upholding the state law.
“If you have a premise permit, it does not automatically convert to a carry permit,” Sewell warned. “If you carry a gun illegally in New York City, you will be arrested. Nothing changes today, and that’s important for everyone to be aware of.”
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Source: NY Post