Last month the Supreme Court affirmed that the Second Amendment indeed protects an individual's right to possess a firearm outside their home. And perhaps more so, the Court's opinion in New York State Rifle & Pistol Club V. Bruen (NYSRPA V. Bruen), clarified that the Second Amendment is not a “lesser right” that the government may limit by requiring the individual present a “special need” to exercise the right. Here is part of Chief Justice Robert's Opinion:
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. McDonald, 561 U. S., at 780 (plurality opinion). 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. It is not how the Sixth Amendment works when it comes to a defendant’s right to confront the witnesses against him. And it is not how the Second Amendment works when it comes to public carry for self-defense. New York’s proper-cause requirement violates the Fourteenth Amendment in that it prevents law-abiding citizens with ordinary self-defense needs from exercising their right to keep and bear arms. We therefore reverse the judgment of the Court of Appeals and remand the case for further proceedings consistent with this opinion. It is so ordered.
The Positives of NYSRPA V. Bruen—
In light of the ruling, states such as California, New Jersey and Maryland changed their concealed carry permit application processes by removing a requirement that the otherwise approved applicant show a “just cause” reason before issuing a concealed carry license.
While advocates of freedom celebrated the ruling and its immediate results, fans of gun-control went into action. Lawmakers at the state and federal levels revived and tweaked bills unfriendly toward gun owners.
The Negatives of NYSRPA V. Bruen—
Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill agreed to pass federal gun control lass that would bribe states to enact unconstitutional red flag laws, by offering the states tax dollars. The law also opens juvenile records of some to determine if they should still have their Second Amendment rights based on their behavior as a minor. None of the laws signed by congress would have stopped the tragic shootings that they cite as the reason for passing the laws.
NY Response to the SCOTUS Decision—
The New York legislature responded to the SCOTUS by returning for a special legislative session to prepare gun control laws. The proposed laws would simply prohibit law abiding gun owners the right to carry a gun, by deeming nearly every public location a “no gun zone”. Instead of using “just cause” as a reason to deny concealed carry permits, the proposal would expand the list of disqualifications, meaning the state could deny a concealed carry permit applicant who seeks help for anxiety or OCD. If passed, the NY laws would raise the required training to obtain a permit to over 15 hours as well as place storage restrictions, and institute background checks for ammunition purchases.
In closing remarks, Sen. Robert Jackson (D-Washington Heights) said the NY legislature crafted these bills to “counter” the Supreme Court.
New Jersey Response to SCOTUS Decision—
Most recently, New Jersey passed a seven-part gun control bill that like the proposed NY laws, and the thousands of current gun control laws, will do nothing to stop future shootings, nor would have stopped the tragic shootings used as the reason for passing new laws.
NJ Governor Phil Murphy is not ashamed to profess his disdain for individual freedom and the commoners' right to protect themselves with a firearm. He signed the gun control package, which includes:
- A1765/S1893 (McKeon, Atkins, Jasey/Ruiz, Pou) – Allows Attorney General to bring cause of action for certain public nuisance violations arising from sale or marketing of firearms.
- A1179/S1204 (Jasey, Swain, Jaffer/Cryan, Zwicker) – Requires firearm owners who become New Jersey residents to obtain firearm purchaser identification card and register handguns acquired out-of-State.
- A4367/S2846 (McKeon, Greenwald/Scutari, Cryan) – Upgrades certain crimes related to manufacturing firearms from third degree to second degree.
- A4366/S2905 (Atkins, Quijano/Scutari) – Revises definition of destructive device to include certain .50 caliber rifles.
- A1302/S2903 (Greenwald, Reynolds-Jackson, Atkins/Cryan) – Regulates sale of handgun ammunition and develops system of electronic reporting of handgun ammunition sales.*
- A4370/S2906 (Reynolds-Jackson, Greenwald/Codey) – Requires training for issuance of firearms purchaser identification card and permit to purchase handgun under certain circumstances; provides that firearms purchaser identification card include photograph and thumb print and remain valid for ten years.*
- A4368/S2907 (Greenwald, McKeon/Codey) – Requires firearm retailers to sell microstamping-enabled firearms upon determination of availability by AG.
NJ Officials' Statements on Gun Control Bill—
Here are some statements from various NJ Public Officials on the “groundbreaking” legislation:
In the wake of horrific mass shootings in Highland Park, Illinois, Uvalde Texas, and Buffalo, New York, it is necessary that we take action in order to protect our communities. I am proud to sign these bills today and thank my legislative partners for sending them to my desk. As I have said before, this is a huge step forward for commonsense gun safety and for safer communities. But it cannot be our only or last step. I look forward to continuing to work with the Legislature and take action to make this state safer for all.—Governor Murphy.
The threat of gun violence is a real and growing menace in our communities. These bills might not stop every gun crime, but they represent a thoughtful, commonsense approach that will target areas of gun control in both the legal and illegal gun markets. They provide an opportunity to prevent gun violence and provide a safe overall environment for the public.—Senate President Nicholas Scutari.
Just as residents are required to register their vehicles with New Jersey’s Motor Vehicle Commission when they first move here, gun owners will now be held to the same standards. This commonsense law will ensure that every legally-obtained gun is registered in our state to promote greater safety in our communities. We are proud of the work we have accomplished in New Jersey to strengthen gun safety laws.—Assemblywoman Mila Jasey.
Firearm registration not only promotes responsible gun ownership, but helps protect first responders by alerting them to the possible presence of a firearm before they arrive at the scene of an emergency. These benefits cannot be fully realized unless every legal gun owner takes part in our registration system, which is why this new law is so critical to ensuring the safety of residents throughout our state.—Assemblywoman Lisa Swain.
These laws, like the others, will only make it harder for law-abiding citizens to purchase a firearm or carry it for protection. All the while, criminals who DO NOT follow gun laws will still get firearms illegally, and possess them illegally, and use them to kill, which is also…illegal. And the way you know these laws have nothing to do with “public-safety” and everything to do with making the citizen more dependent on the government, is for all the tough talk about protecting the community, the legislature and Attorney General moved to go soft on criminals, and get them back on the street faster.
It took little insight to predict that the SCOTUS ruling would trigger anti-freedom and anti-gun legislation in states hostile toward individual liberty. It is all but certain that some of these will face court challenges. However, for issues like gun control, those hostile to it are not concerned with the constitutionality of the law. It took over 10 years, thousands of hours of testimony and work, and millions of dollars for the NYSRPA V. Bruen case to reach the Supreme Court. Because the goal is not actual public safety, but harassment of legal gun ownership, anti gun legislators win even when they ultimately lose.
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