On June 23, 2022, the Supreme Court struck down a gun law in the state of New York that restricted practicing concealed carry of a firearm outside of the home. This Supreme Court ruling was the most significant gun rights expansion in an entire decade. The opinion of the Supreme Court on this issue altered the framework lower courts use when examining other gun restrictions.
Critics say this Supreme Court ruling will get in the way of sensible solutions to gun violence. Five states had or have similar regulations. These five states include some very densely populated cities.
According to data from the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, 25 states let people carry concealed weapons in public spaces without background checks, permits, or safety training. President Biden stated that he was ‘”deeply disappointed'” with the Supreme Court’s decision.
Critics Brought Up Recent Mass Shootings
Justice Stephen Breyer wrote that the ruling by the Supreme Court “severely burdens States’ efforts” to decrease gun violence in a dissent that he joined alongside the other liberal justices on the Supreme Court. The conservative justices responded that one of the recent mass shootings took place in Buffalo, New York. Additionally, the conservative justices stated that the concerns about the restrictions the law placed on bringing firearms into sensitive places were unwarranted. As is typically the case, the reaction to this Supreme Court ruling was divided based on political viewpoints.
What Was the Reaction to this Supreme Court Ruling?
Gun rights groups interpreted the ruling as a victory for Second Amendment rights and the rights of individuals to protect themselves. On the other hand, gun safety advocates made the argument that the ruling will lead to an increase in gun violence. The Governor of New York, Kathy Hochul, said that the ruling was a setback for the country and for the country’s ability to protect its citizenry. Governor Hochul also said that the Supreme Court’s ruling was “shocking”.
The National Rifle Association, commonly called the NRA, said that the ruling was a “watershed win”. The Executive Vice President of the NRA, Wayne LaPierre, added to this sentiment. “The right to self-defense…should not end at your home,” LaPierre said. As always, gun rights issues remain a controversial and divisive topic in modern American society.