In another key victory for constitutional rights, the U.S. Supreme Court announced a ground-breaking decision today in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen. In ruling for the plaintiff gunowners—supported by Missouri, Kansas and Oklahoma—the Court held that the Second Amendment protects “an individual’s right to carry a handgun for self-defense outside the home.” The Court struck down New York’s law that only permitted public carry when an applicant could demonstrate a “special need” to do so.
“The constitutional right to bear arms in public for self-defense is not ‘a second-class right, subject to an entirely different body of rules than the other Bill of Rights guarantees,’” the Supreme Court emphasized. “We know of no other constitutional right that an individual may exercise only after demonstrating to government officers some special need. That is not how the First Amendment works when it comes to unpopular speech or the free exercise of religion. …And it is not how the Second Amendment works when it comes to public carry for self-defense.”
25 States urged the Court to issue its first significant gun-rights decision since Heller (2008) and McDonald (2010). This nationwide coalition contended that less restrictive concealed carry laws increase public safety rather than crime. Justices Kavanaugh and Alito, who joined the majority, each cited Oklahoma’s brief in their respective concurrences.
Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt praised the ruling.
BREAKING: We just obtained a monumental victory at SCOTUS in New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. Bruen, preserving Second Amendment rights for citizens across the country. This is a huge win for Missourians! pic.twitter.com/aqdp87p0fd
— Attorney General Eric Schmitt (@AGEricSchmitt) June 23, 2022
Both Kansas and Oklahoma Attorneys Generals also commended the decision.
“Today’s decision by the U.S. Supreme Court properly confirms that the Second Amendment’s plain text includes both the right to keep and the right to bear arms outside the home. The State of Kansas long has been a strong supporter of our citizens’ Second Amendment rights, and I was pleased to reflect that support in our successful advocacy in this case. The burdensome regime imposed by New York and a few other states, requiring citizens to demonstrate a ‘proper cause’ to exercise a constitutional right, was clearly unconstitutional and the Court was right to reject it.”
“I commend the U.S. Supreme Court for recognizing that the Second Amendment means what it says and is not a ‘second-class’ right that can be trampled upon by governments on a whim,” said Oklahoma Attorney General John O’Connor. “Ordinary, law-abiding citizens can now be assured that they do indeed have a right to carry a handgun for self-defense outside of their homes. This is a major victory for public safety, for everyday rule-following Americans, and for our Constitution.”