President Joe Biden issued his response to the Supreme Court handing gun owners a major Second Amendment-related victory on Thursday.
“Since 1911, the State of New York has required individuals who would like to carry a concealed weapon in public to show a need to do so for the purpose of self-defense and to acquire a license,” Biden said Thursday after the Supreme Court issued its 6–3 ruling that essentially strikes down certain state and municipal laws regarding whether an individual can carry a firearm in a concealed manner.
The case in question, New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc. v. Bruen, was the first significant Second Amendment case to be heard by the Supreme Court in more than 10 years. New York’s law required an individual to show they had “proper cause” to obtain a concealed carry license.
“More than a century later, the United States Supreme Court has chosen to strike down New York’s long-established authority to protect its citizens,” Biden added. “I urge states to continue to enact and enforce commonsense laws to make their citizens and communities safer from gun violence,” he added.
Democrat New York Gov. Kathy Hochul also criticized the ruling on Thursday and promised more gun control measures.
“Does everyone understand what a concealed weapon means? That you have no forewarning that someone can hide a weapon on them and go into our subways, going to our grocery stores, like stores up in Buffalo, New York, where I’m from,” Hochul said. “This decision isn’t just reckless. It’s reprehensible. It’s not what New Yorkers want. And we should have the right of determination of what we want to do in terms of our gun laws in our state.”
Meanwhile, the New York City Police Department’s commissioner, Keechant Sewell, said in a statement that “if you have a pistol permit, it is not automatically converted to a carry permit.”
“Nothing changes today and that’s important for everyone to be aware of,” Sewell said.
‘Violates the Constitution’
Justice Clarence Thomas wrote for the majority that in the case, “petitioners and respondents agree that ordinary, law-abiding citizens have a similar right to carry handguns publicly for their self-defense.”
“We too agree, and now hold, consistent with Heller and McDonald, that the Second and Fourteenth Amendments protect an individual’s right to carry a handgun for self-defense outside the home,” he wrote. “Because the State of New York issues public-carry licenses only when an applicant demonstrates a special need for self-defense, we conclude that the State’s licensing regime violates the Constitution.”
In concurring opinions, Justices Samuel Alito and Brett Kavanaugh attempted to say that their decision Thursday is limited in scope.
The order, Alito wrote, “decides nothing about who may lawfully possess a firearm or the requirements that must be met to buy a gun” and it does not “decide anything about the kind of weapons that people may possess.”