In a decision with sweeping and grave implications for gun control laws across the country, the right-wing U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday struck down New York state’s restrictions on the concealed carry of firearms in public.
Slate legal reporter Mark Joseph Stern warned that the high court’s 6-3 decision—penned by Justice Clarence Thomas—”goes so, so far beyond concealed carry.”
“It’s difficult to overstate how devastating Thomas’ opinion is for gun control laws,” Stern wrote. “The Supreme Court has effectively rendered gun restrictions presumptively unconstitutional. This is a revolution in Second Amendment law.”
The ruling in the case, officially titled New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. Bruen, comes in the wake of horrific mass shootings in Uvalde, Texas and Buffalo, New York.
The now-invalidated, century-old New York law required applicants for a concealed carry permit to demonstrate “proper cause” and “good moral character” before gaining state approval. The Supreme Court’s right-wing majority deemed those requirements a violation of the Second Amendment.
Several other states—including California, Hawaii, Maryland, and Massachusetts—have similar laws.
“This is devastating,” Democratic New York State Sen. Alessandra Biaggi tweeted in response to the ruling. “Expand the Supreme Court.”
The North Carolina Justice Center said in a statement that the court’s decision “is deeply historically flawed, staggeringly tone-deaf, and will sadly only lead to more violence in this country.”
“We condemn the ruling in the case,” the group added, “which will have profound implications on efforts to enact meaningful gun legislation that could prevent the daily occurrences of mass shootings in the United States. We are neither safer nor freer because of this ruling.”
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Jake Johnson is a staff writer for Common Dreams. Follow him on Twitter: @johnsonjakep.