Supreme Court Strikes Down New York Gun Control Law

The United States Supreme Court on Thursday overturned a New York state gun control law that required gun owners seeking a license to carry a concealed handgun to show “proper cause.”

The Court reversed lower court decisions upholding New York’s law in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc. v. Bruen, delivering the most significant victory for gun rights in more than a decade.

People who want to carry concealed handguns outside their homes in New York must show a “proper cause” for doing so, according to state law. State courts had ruled that gun owners needed to demonstrate more than just a general desire for protection in order to obtain a concealed carry license; they couldn’t simply claim they wanted it for self-defense.

Brandon Koch and Robert Nash applied for unrestricted licenses to carry handguns in public, claiming they needed them for self-defense. New York denied their application, claiming that they had not met the state’s “proper cause” requirement. They filed a lawsuit and fought the case all the way to the Supreme Court.

Justice Clarence Thomas delivered the majority opinion for the court, writing:

The Supreme Court ruled that New York’s law violated the 14th Amendment by preventing law-abiding citizens with ordinary self-defense needs from exercising their Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.

The three liberal justices dissented and said they would have upheld the law.

Reacting to the decision, New York Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul called it “shocking.”

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