Supreme Court Overturns “Unconstitutional” New York Gun Law
By: Michael Chang
On Thursday, June 23, 2022, the US Supreme Court ruled against a New York gun law that six of the nine Supreme Court justices deemed unconstitutional. This decision by the Supreme Court will allow more people to carry guns in densely populated areas such as New York City.
According to BBC News journalists Anthony Zurcher, Bernd Debusmann Jr, and Boer Deng, “The court found that a New York law requiring residents to prove ‘proper cause’ - or a good reason - to carry concealed firearms in public violates the US Constitution.” Supreme Court made its decision by interpreting the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. The Supreme Court’s decision also jeopardizes similar gun regulations in states such as Maryland, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Hawaii, and California.
Today, gun safety in America is a pressing issue. In 2020, over forty-five thousand Americans passed away from injuries caused by guns. So far, in 2022, there have been two-hundred seventy-seven reported mass shootings, a higher number than the days that have passed this year.
Regarding the decision made by the Supreme Court, President Joe Biden remarked that he was “deeply disappointed.” He also explained, “[The decision] contradicts … common sense and the Constitution, and should trouble us all.” President Biden’s words show his adamant disapproval of the Supreme Court’s decision.
Similarly, New York City Mayor Eric Adams stated, “We cannot allow New York to become the wild, wild west.” After hearing the Supreme Court’s decision, Mayor Adams promised to review other ways to restrict gun access, such as by tightening the application process for buying firearms.
On the contrary, the National Rifle Association celebrated the Supreme Court’s judgment.
In response to the public disapproval of the Supreme Court’s decision, the US Senate passed the first national gun control bill in nearly three decades on Thursday evening. The new law includes regulations expanding background checks for gun buyers under 21 and funding states with emergency programs to seize guns from people deemed dangerous by a judge. Next, the bill will have to clear the US House of Representatives before going to President Biden's desk for his signature.
As the gun safety crisis continues, more debates regarding whether policies are constitutional will arise.