The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday struck down a New York state gun control law, setting a major precedent that expands the reach of the Second Amendment and puts existing firearm restrictions in other states into new legal jeopardy.
At issue in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen was a 1913 New York law that requires people to get licenses if they want to take guns outside of their homes. In order to get one of those licenses, a gun owner must show they actually need the weapon for self-defense.
In a 6-to-3 ruling, with Republican-appointed justices in the majority and Democratic-appointed justices dissenting, the court determined that New York’s licensing requirement violates the Second Amendment’s guarantee of a “right to keep and bear arms.”
Back in 2008, the court had said that the Second Amendment protects the right to own a gun, while allowing for certain restrictions on firearms use.
With this new ruling, the court has effectively said the Second Amendment also protects the right to carry that gun in public, which means it will be more difficult to defend restrictions in court.
That includes both existing restrictions as well as limits that local, state or federal governments might enact in the future.