Held: New York’s proper-cause requirement violates the Fourteenth Amendment by preventing law-abiding citizens with ordinary self-defense needs from exercising their Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms in public for self-defense. Pp. 8–63.

(1) Since Heller and McDonald, the Courts of Appeals have developed a “two-step” framework for analyzing Second Amendment challenges that combines history with means-end scrutiny. The Court rejects that two-part approach as having one step too many. Step one is broadly consistent with Heller, which demands a test rooted in the Second Amendment’s text, as informed by history. But Heller and McDonald do not support a second step that applies means-end scrutiny in the Second Amendment context. Heller’s methodology centered on constitutional text and history. It did not invoke any means-end test such as strict or intermediate scrutiny, and it expressly rejected any interest-balancing inquiry akin to intermediate scrutiny. Pp. 9–15.

It is undisputed that petitioners Koch and Nash—two ordinary, law-abiding, adult citizens—are part of “the people” whom the Second Amendment protects. See Heller, 554 U. S., at 580. And no party disputes that handguns are weapons “in common use” today for
self-defense. See id., at 627. The Court has little difficulty concluding also that the plain text of the Second Amendment protects Koch’s and Nash’s proposed course of conduct—carrying handguns publicly for self-defense. Nothing in the Second Amendment’s text draws a home/public distinction with respect to the right to keep and bear arms, and the definition of “bear” naturally encompasses public carry. Moreover, the Second Amendment guarantees an “individual right to possess and carry weapons in case of confrontation,” id., at 592, and confrontation can surely take place outside the home. Pp. 23–24.

This is all from the opinion PDF warning written by Thomas.

It is a relatively easy read. Go read it, enjoy the win


On page 70 of the opinion is Justice Alito’s concurring opinion.

His opinion directly attacks the use of polls, statistics, number of shootings, mass shootings and everything else that is outside the context of the question.

“Much of the dissent seems designed to obscure the specific question that the Court has decided…”

In light of what we have actually held, it is hard to see what legitimate purpose can possibly be served by most of the dissent’s lengthy introductory section. See post, at 1–8 (opinion of BREYER, J.). Why, for example, does the dissent think it is relevant to recount the mass shootings that have occurred in recent years? Post, at 4–5. Does the dissent think that laws like New York’s prevent or deter such atrocities? Will a person bent on carrying out a mass shooting be stopped if he knows that it is illegal to carry a handgun outside the home? And how does the dissent account for the fact that one of the mass shootings near the top of its list took place in Buffalo? The New York law at issue in this case obviously did not stop that perpetrator.

Like that dissent in Heller, the real thrust of today’s dissent is that guns are bad and that States and local jurisdictions should be free to restrict them essentially as they see fit.3 That argument was rejected in Heller, and while the dissent protests that it is not rearguing Heller, it proceeds to do just that. See post, at 25–28.

The dissent is painful to read. It starts, as Alito states, with all sorts of fear mongering. After that Breyer goes off about the court not having any discovery or evidence to support the opinion. Even though in oral arguments New York made statements that directly show that the law is infringing.

What the dissent comes down to, in my opinion, is that the states are more democratic and thus the states should be able to pass what ever laws they want in regards to firearms.

Last, I’ve called my Senator’s offices and left messages with staffers saying this opinion has dropped. That it requires the 2nd be applied with strict scrutiny and thus in order for my Senator to uphold their oath to the Constitution they must vote NO on “The Bipartisan Safer Communities act”. Left the same message with my Representatives office and accidently left it with my state Senator’s office.

I did say I had my congress critters on speed dial. Click on the wrong one when trying to contact my US Representative’s office.

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By awa

10 thoughts on “SCOTUS: New York State Rifle & Pistol ASSN., Inc v Bruen UPDATED”
  1. Just a layman’s reading of the majority opinions, haven’t tackled the dissent yet. TLDR version is that “may issue” concealed pistol licenses are unconstitutional. “Shall issue” is consistent with 2A & 14A. Constitutional carry not mentioned at all. Nothing else addressed in the opinion. If I missed something please correct me.
    Did enjoy 50 pages of Judge Thomas using the historical record to completely eviscerate the oppositions argument though.

    1. Yep, you missed the really big one:

      “Since Heller and McDonald, the Courts of Appeals have developed a “two-step” framework for analyzing Second Amendment challenges that combines history with means-end scrutiny. The Court rejects that two-part approach as having one step too many”

      This means that all of the court cases where the courts look at the case and say we agree that there is an infringement but there is “a reasonable fit for the government interest in reducing gun violence” are wrongly decided. Quote from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals regarding “large-capacity magazines”.

      This is the big win. The courts can no longer use means balanced approaches to deciding if a law is upheld

      1. They weren’t supposed to anyways, they started doing it under the expectation they could get away with it until they had a like-minded majority on SCOTUS. It’s be nice to see some circuit judges get slapped down for it in the near future.

      2. Ah-ha, I read through that & understood that the two-step process was now out, but I didn’t make the connection to Duncan vs. Becerra or the other related cases.
        Since I’m in 9th circus territory this gives me some hope that some recent bad laws may get righted sooner rather than later (like our upcoming state law on 10 round magazines, which SAF & partners have already filed suit against). Thank you.

        1. One can hope. But you know the Left Coast is going to fight this all the way back up. If the average resident of San Francisco or LA can get a CCW permit within a decade without having to go through the “demonstrable need and of good character” hoops, I’ll be happily surprised.

  2. I just wanted to drop a detail I didn’t know as of this morning. Apparently it’s Justice Thomas’ birthday today.

    It’s his birthday, but he gave us all the present :-).

  3. I just read the “syllabus” (the Cliff Notes short version of the decision) and skimmed a few other bits.
    One of these is Kavanaugh’s concurrence. It’s short, and very interesting. He says, quite explicitly, that “shall issue” is fine but “may issue” is not, and that the necessary remedy is for the 6 states that currently use “may issue” to adopt “shall issue” instead. (It’s curious, though, that he says that 43 states have “shall issue”. That’s not quite accurate. 25 (or is it 26 now?) have Constitutional Carry. And while nearly all of those do issue permits as well mostly for reciprocality purposes, I believe Vermont does not because it hasn’t had permits in at least a century, if ever.

Only one rule: Don't be a dick.

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