the great gun debate
In its "biggest gun rights case in over a decade," the Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that a New York state law restricting the concealed carry of a firearm does, in fact, violate the Second Amendment.
A 6-3 decision along party lines determined that the Constitution safeguards the right to carry a gun outside the home. The high-profile case, New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. Bruen, centered around a New York law under which applicants were ordered to prove "some special need — a requirement that went beyond a general desire for self-protection" — to receive a permit to carry a concealed weapon in public, writes NBC News. State gun owners then sued over the law, arguing it made it almost impossible for an ordinary citizen to get a concealed carry license, and turned what was supposed to be a constitutional right into a limited privilege. The court ruled Thursday in favor of the gun owners, thus bringing about the "widest expansion of gun rights in a decade," CNN notes.
"Because the State of New York issues public-carry licenses only when an applicant demonstrates a special need for self-defense, we conclude that the state's licensing regime violates the Constitution," Justice Clarence Thomas wrote for the majority.
The ruling now throws into question "similar laws in at least eight other states and [Washington, D.C.]," The Wall Street Journal reports. It also arrives after a number of high-profile mass shootings have rattled the country, leading to increased calls for gun reform nationwide. In response, Congress is currently working to pass a bipartisan gun control package.