It was one of the most significant Second Amendment victories in nearly two decades when the Supreme Court ruled 6-3 that New York’s concealed carry law was unconstitutional.
According to experts, the ruling means that similarly restrictive concealed carry laws, which are primarily found in blue states, are also likely to be challenged in court with the same results.
“This decision is a big deal,” FiveThirtyEight announced following the decision. “Previously, the court had only said that the Constitution protected the ability to have a gun inside the home for self-defense. In that decision, which came down in 2008, the justices didn’t rule on how guns carried outside the home could be regulated. It took almost 15 years for the justices to come back to that question, but now they have.”
Justice Clarence Thomas wrote in his majority opinion stating that the Second Amendment “protect[s] an individual’s right to carry a handgun for self-defense outside the home,” hence statutes such as the one in New York, “which required people who wanted a license to carry a concealed handgun in public to show they have a good reason, are no longer allowed,” FiveThirtyEight added.
Now, Senate Republicans are proposing legislation codifying the Supreme Court’s landmark self-defense ruling of 2022.
“The legislation, backed by all GOP members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, would codify the high court’s ruling in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen. The 6-3 decision, issued last June, was authored by Justice Clarence Thomas, who said New York’s gun-licensing requirement that a person must show proper need to carry a firearm ran afoul of the Second Amendment right to self-defense,” according to the Washington Times.
In order to protect future Supreme Court decisions, Senate Republicans want to codify the ruling.
“We have a Bill of Rights and it is not an a la carte menu. Every right as interpreted by the U.S. Supreme Court matters,” Louisiana Republican Sen. John Kennedy said.
“With this bill, we are ensuring that the rights affirmed by the Supreme Court are part of the federal code — and preventing a future Supreme Court from reversing this decision. The Respect for the Second Amendment Act will memorialize the holdings in these landmark Supreme Court cases and provide further protection to the Second Amendment,” South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham declared.
“In February, a federal appeals court struck down a measure banning the possession of a firearm by anyone under a court order for domestic violence, such as stalking, harassing, or threatening an intimate partner,” reported Conservative Brief.
“I can’t square that decision with the actual danger that women and police officers face from armed domestic abusers, and I don’t believe the founders of our nation would want courts to ignore this danger when applying the Constitution they wrote,” said Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Richard J. Durbin, Illinois Democrat, on Wednesday.
“The chaos the Bruen decision has caused is predictable,” he added.
Last year, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 7-4 to uphold a statute in California banning magazines that can hold more than 10 rounds.
Furthermore, the justices remanded a Maryland case that challenged the state’s banning of 45 types of so-called “assault” weapons back to an appeals court. The Supreme Court had previously rejected a challenge to that law in 2017.
“Thomas’s opinion states regulations need to be historically consistent with the Second Amendment,” according to FiveThirtyEight.
“That means when they look at a modern gun regulation, judges will have to figure out if another, reasonably similar law was passed earlier in the country’s history. Previously, courts had also considered whether a regulation could be justified for other reasons, but that second layer of consideration is no longer allowed,” FTE explained.
In other firearm news, on Wednesday, Kentucky lawmakers submitted a bill proposing a “2nd Amendment Sanctuary” for governor Andy Beshear’s consideration.
“House Bill 153, sponsored by Rep. Josh Bray, R-Mt. Vernon, would prohibit local law enforcement agencies in Kentucky from enforcing federal firearm regulations. Similar measures have been found unconstitutional in other states because state laws can’t override federal ones,” the Courier-Journal reported.
It slowly but consistently advanced out of the House and through the Senate over the last several weeks.
After debating the bill’s constitutionality and potential impact on law enforcement Wednesday afternoon, the Senate voted 27-9 to approve the bill.
Also, a “bill to expand gun rights had its third hearing at the Ohio Statehouse on Tuesday,” NBC 4 reported.
Democrats in that state were outraged.
“About 80 people submitted opponent testimony, compared to just over 20 who testified in favor of House Bill 51, known as the Second Amendment Preservation Act, last week; opponents said that alone should be a signal of what Ohioans want,” the outlet added.
“I have no problem with people owning guns, but this is just an outrageous bill,” opponent to the bill Mary Miller said.
Sponsors of the bill said the proposed legislation does not allow for a lawless society and it simply puts power back to the state, but opponents argue the bill would make it more difficult for law enforcement to do their jobs and some worry it would allow domestic abusers to carry a gun without a permit.
The bill would also prohibit a law enforcement officer from having the authority to enforce any federal acts, laws, executive orders, administrative orders, rules, regulations, statutes, or ordinances infringing on the right to keep and bear arms.