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WASHINGTON (TND) – New York’s century-old concealed carry law that was struck down Thursday had required gun owners to show proper cause or a special need to obtain a license to carry a gun outside their home.
It’s a law the U.S. Supreme Court now says “violates the Fourteenth Amendment by preventing law-abiding citizens with ordinary self-defense needs from exercising their Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms in public for self-defense.”
Gun rights groups on Thursday celebrated the decision.
“This was clearly an infringement, and really like all of these permitting laws where they force people to prove that they are worthy enough to exercise the God-given right like self-defense, it’s just wrong,” said Erich Pratt, senior vice president with Gun Owners of America.
Legal experts say this will likely carry over to other states with similar laws including California, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts and New Jersey as well as the District of Columbia.
“I think those laws are certainly impacted by this decision – the seven states, the six and the district, I think the court made it very clear,” said Peter Pullano, managing partner and a criminal defense attorney with Tully Rinckey PLLC, referring to the fate of other similar laws.
Pullano said the ruling could pave a path for similar Second Amendment cases before the high court in the future.
“I think, basically, this decision creates open season on gun safety laws. There’s going to be a lot of challenges. And the language that was used by the court today, I think is going to be the basis of a lot of these challenges. And we’re just going to have to see where it goes,” Pullano added.
In his dissent, Justice Stephen Breyer discussed the dangers posed by firearms and referenced a long list of mass shootings in the country, including recent ones in Uvalde, Texas, and Buffalo, New York, as well as well as others like at a church in South Carolina and Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.
Justice Samuel Alito pushed back against the dissent, arguing the law, which was still in place at the time, did not stop the perpetrator in Buffalo.
“That argument which says we have to limit rights because of what bad people do that quite frankly would eviscerate the Bill of Rights,” said Pratt.
The gun issue was already center stage in Washington, with Congress debating bipartisan gun legislation. Now we expect even more questions seeking more clarity on just how far the Second Amendment extends.