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WaPo: SCOTUS Ruling ‘Could Unravel Gun Laws Across the Nation’

A Washington Post analysis of the upcoming Supreme Court ruling on right-to-carry shows New York officials are nervous their 100-year-old “just cause” restriction is about to be tossed. (Dave Workman)

An analysis in the Washington Post about an upcoming ruling by the Supreme Court of the United States regarding the right to bear arms appears to hit the proverbial nail on the head: “What the justices decide could unravel laws across the nation restricting who can carry guns in public.”

The case is New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen, and if the high court strikes down the Empire State’s “proper cause” requirement to obtain a license to carry a concealed sidearm in public, it will be a devastating blow to the gun prohibition lobby.

Critics say requiring people to justify why they need to carry a gun in public puts a burden specifically on the Second Amendment’s right to “bear” arms. Challengers to the law told the Supreme Court that a person should not have to show a “special need” to exercise a constitutional right.

As noted by WaPo writer Amber Phillips, “Critics say requiring people to justify why they need to carry a gun in public puts a burden specifically on the Second Amendment’s right to ‘bear’ arms. Challengers to the law told the Supreme Court that a person should not have to show a ‘special need’ to exercise a constitutional right.”

For a glimpse of how average citizens are divided on the issue, one should study the reader responses to the WaPo story.

The case has drawn a mountain of amicus briefs both supporting and opposing the right to bear arms. Gun rights organizations including the Second Amendment Foundation, New Jersey Second Amendment Society, Virginia Citizens Defense League, Illinois State Rifle Association and many others partnered on a major brief. The Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms submitted a solo brief, with no other partners, and the group says this is because the New York organization at the center of this controversial case is one of its state affiliates.

The Phillips analysis quotes attorney Jerold Levine, who suggested that if the court strikes down New York’s justification requirement, then “across the country, there will be lots of laws that will be invalidated right away.” One such law is in neighboring New Jersey, and farther south, Maryland’s requirement would also face nullification.

New York gun control laws have long been suspected of falling outside the constitution. That suspicion was reinforced two years ago when New York City was sued by the Rifle & Pistol Association for adopting an ordinance prohibiting licensed handgun owners from taking their pistols outside of the city for any purpose. When the Supreme Court took the case for review, city officials scrambled to change the law in order to avoid a high court smackdown. Gun rights advocates said the reason for changing the law was because the city knew all along it was unconstitutional, but never expected anybody to challenge it.

According to The Hill, “The Court was not amused by New York’s gaming the judicial system. New York leaders had forced costly litigation only to pull the law at the last minute to avoid a likely finding of unconstitutionality.”

New York City Mayor Eric Adams is among the politicians fearful of a pro-rights ruling by the high court. As reported by The City, “Adams says City Hall is already strategizing about how the city will contend with an expected win for gun rights supporters.”

And the Washington Post perhaps let the proverbial cat out of the bag with this observation: “New York City officials fear that the Supreme Court could force the state to allow more people to carry more guns in public places.”

Criminals already do that, say gun rights activists. The difference with a Supreme Court ruling is that in the future, law-abiding citizens will be on the same footing. If that scenario alarms politicians, perhaps it is time for them to seek other employment.

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