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.