Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its most significant pro-Second Amendment decision in nearly two decades when justices ruled 6-3 that New York’s concealed carry law was unconstitutionally restrictive.
Experts say the ruling is important because it implies that similarly restrictive concealed-carry laws, which are primarily limited to blue states only, will also be challenged.
“This decision is a big deal,” made a note in the aftermath of the ruling. “Previously, the court had only said that the Constitution protected the ability to have a gun inside the home for self-defense. In that decision, which came down in 2008, the justices didn’t rule on how guns carried outside the home could be regulated. It took almost 15 years for the justices to come back to that question, but now they have.”
Second Amendment “protect[s] an individual’s right to carry a handgun for self-defense outside the home,” wrote Justice Clarence Thomas in the majority opinion for Thursday’s ruling. FiveThirtyEight stated that New York statues are not allowed. “which required people who wanted a license to carry a concealed handgun in public to show they have a good reason, are no longer allowed.”
Further analysis is done to forecast a “flood” litigation may be initiated in cases involving states where similar carry laws are not concealed.
But this major case wasn’t the high court’s only Second Amendment ruling, and in fact, SCOTUS likely opened the door to much of the expected new litigation.
“The Supreme Court said Thursday that gun cases involving restrictions in Hawaii, California, New Jersey and Maryland deserve a new look following its major decision in a gun case last week,” to the Western Journal, Thursday was reported.
“In light of last week’s ruling — which said that Americans have a right to carry a gun outside the home — lower courts should take another look at several cases that had been awaiting action by the high court, the court said. Those cases include ones about high-capacity magazines, an assault weapons ban and a state law that limits who can carry a gun outside the home,” the outlet reported, noting that by sending the cases back to lower courts, these laws will now get a second look under the new standard applied in Thomas’ majority decision.
One of the cases the justices sent back to a lower court Thursday involved a Hawaii statute similar to New York’s. The case was heard by a group of 11 U.S. judges. Circuit Court of Appeals had ruled in 2021 that the right to “keep and bear arms” in the Constitution’s Second Amendment “does not guarantee an unfettered, general right to openly carry arms in public for individual self-defense.”In its most recent gun case, however, the Supreme Court stated that the Constitution is protected. “an individual’s right to carry a handgun for self-defense outside the home.”An appeals court from a lower court must now review the Hawaii ruling.
SCOTUS instructed the federal appeals court to reexamine New Jersey law that limits how many rounds a magazine can have. 2018 saw the New Jersey Governor. Phil Murphy signed Democrat-passed legislation limiting magazines to 10 rounds rather than the current 15-round limit. The law was already confirmed by a lower court.
California has an ordinance that bans magazines with more than 10 rounds. The panel comprised 11 U.S. Judges. Circuit Court of Appeals last year ruled 7-4 to uphold the ban.
Also, the justices remanded another case from Maryland back to an appeals court that challenged that state’s ban on 45 types of so-called “assault” weapons. The Supreme Court rejected a challenge to this law in 2017.
“Thomas’s opinion states regulations need to be historically consistent with the Second Amendment,” FiveThirtyEight’s analysis noted.
“That means when they look at a modern gun regulation, judges will have to figure out if another, reasonably similar law was passed earlier in the country’s history. Previously, courts had also considered whether a regulation could be justified for other reasons, but that second layer of consideration is no longer allowed,” to the website
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