Supreme Court strikes down NY rule that sets high bar for concealed carry handgun licenses

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The Supreme Court ruled Thursday, 6-3, that New York regulations made it difficult to obtain a license to carry a concealed handgun, and that such a license should be easy to obtain.

The current standard requires an applicant to show “reasonable reason” to obtain a license, and is allowed New York officials To exercise discretion in determining whether a person has shown sufficient cause for the need to carry a firearm. To say that one wanted to protect oneself or one’s property was not enough.

“In this case, petitioners and defendants agree that ordinary, law-abiding citizens have an equal right to carry a handgun in public for their self-defense. We also agree, and now in line with Heller and McDonald’s that the Second and Fourteenth Amendments protect a person’s right to carry a handgun for self-defense outside the home,” Justice Clarence Thomas wrote in the Court’s opinion. “Because New York State issues a public-carry license only when an applicant demonstrates a special need for self-defense, we conclude that the state’s licensing regime violates the Constitution.”

Case, New York State Rifle and Pistol Association, Inc. vs Bruen, the first major gun rights case before the Supreme Court in more than a decade.

During oral arguments, it seemed that the court’s conservative judges would rule against the state.

“Why isn’t it enough to say that I live in a violent area and I want to defend myself?” Justice Brett Kavanaugh asked,

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New York Solicitor General Barbara Underwood considered in an exchange with Justice Samuel Alito that if an applicant said vacation worked late at night and had to walk from a subway station through a high-crime neighborhood to get home , then that person would be denied because they did not cite any particular danger.

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“How is this in line with the fundamental right to self-defense?” Alito asked saying that this is at the core of second Amendment,

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Conservatives indicated that it would be appropriate to put limits on where one could bring a concealed firearm.

This is a developing story. Check back for more details.