by Doug La Rocque
According to a majority of Justices, New York State’s law that placed strict limitations on who can carry a concealed weapon, violate both the second and 14th amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The vote was 6 to 3 and represents the Court’s conservative versus liberal ideological makeup. The decision finds in favor of Rensselaer County residents Robert Nash and Brandon Koch. The law they challenged generally prohibited conceal-cary permits unless the applicant could demonstrate a heighten risk that would necessitate the possession of a weapon outside of the home.
Writing for the majority, Justice Clarence Thomas concluded “that the plain text of the Second Amendment protects Koch’s and Nash’s proposed course of conduct- carrying handguns publicly for self-defense. Nothing in the Second Amendment’s text draws a home/public distinction with respect to the right to keep and bear arms, and the definition of ‘bear’ naturally encompassing public carry. Moreover, the Second Amendment guarantees an individual right to possess and carry weapons in case of confrontation, and confrontation can surely take place outside of the home.”
What They Are Saying
Reaction to the Thursday morning decision was swift, and basically split down political lines. New York Governor Kathy Hochul said “this decision isn’t just reckless, it’s reprehensible.” She also claimed “It isn’t what New Yorkers want.” Governor Hochul indicated at a morning press conference the state would, in her words, “seek a legislative fix to ameliorate its impact.”
Another lawmaker chastising the ruling was New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand who called the ruling “not just irresponsible, it is downright dangerous.”
There are those who support the ruling, one being 21st District Congresswomen Elise Stefanik who released a statement that says in part “today’s Supreme Court ruling upholds the Constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms and correctly declares New York’s shameful attempt to shred Second Amendment rights of New Yorkers unconstitutional.”
Ruling Has Major Impact.
The decision by the U.S. Supreme Court is considered by many to be in most impactful considering gun rights in over a decade and will most likely affect laws currently on the books in many other states as well.