A U.S. Supreme Court police officer walks past gun rights protesters outside the Supreme Court in Washington, DC, U.S., Monday, Dec. 2, 2019.
Andre Harrer | Bloomberg | Getty Images
The Supreme Court on Thursday struck down a New York state law that requires applicants for a license to carry a concealed weapon to have a ‘good cause’ to do so, saying it violates the Second Amendment to the US Constitution .
The ruling is a major victory for gun rights advocates who had challenged New York’s restrictive law that makes it a crime to carry a concealed firearm without a license.
The Supreme Court’s six conservative justices voted to strike down the law, which has been around for more than a century, with Justice Clarence Thomas writing the majority opinion in the case.
The court’s three Liberals voted to uphold the law, with Justice Stephen Breyer writing a dissent on the decision.
The majority said the New York law violates the Constitution’s Fourteenth Amendment, which states that citizens are entitled to equal protection under the laws, by “preventing law-abiding citizens with ordinary self-defense needs from ‘exercise their Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms’. in public to defend themselves.
The case had been brought by the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association and two of its members, Robert Nash and Brandon Koch, whose applications for concealed self-defense handgun licenses were denied.
New York Supreme Court Justice Richard McNally, who heard both claims, ruled that neither man had shown cause to bear arms in public because he had failed to show that he had a special need for self-protection.
The plaintiffs then challenged that denial in federal court in New York, arguing that the state law governing concealed carry licenses, which allows them only when there is “good cause for their issuance,” violates the second amendment to the US Constitution. The law also required applicants to be of “good character.”
After a federal judge in New York dismissed the case, the United States Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit upheld that judgment. The United States Supreme Court then took up the case.
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