More Blue States Strike Back Against Gun Ownership After Supreme Court Ruling

AP Photo/Jae C. Hong

Blue states and the anti-gunner lobby have begun efforts to strike back against gun rights after the Supreme Court handed down a ruling restricting the ability to curtail the Second Amendment through onerous gun licensing schemes. California and New York are leading the way, and other states are sure to follow. But they are not going to have an easy time of it, as pro-gun organizations are already mobilizing to give them the fight of their lives.

The court’s ruling effectively did away with the idea of a “may issue” state. This means states that gave broad discretion to government officials in determining whether one could obtain a license to carry a firearm no longer have the same latitude to keep people disarmed as they had before. Now, if a person jumps through the appropriate hoops to obtain a permit, the state must issue it to them instead of forcing them to prove they have a valid need to carry a gun.

However, some states are now imposing measures that would add restrictions on where people can carry guns and beef up the requirements one must meet in order to obtain a license. Politico noted that these lawmakers are using the court’s ruling to “bolster the vetting process and prohibit concealed firearms in a variety of public locations.”

New York quickly instituted its new laws shortly after the Supreme Court issued its Bruen ruling. The Times Union explained:

The measures include having the state expand and institute its own background-check system for those seeking a gun permit and reviving a long-stalled plan to create a database that would track ammunition sales. In addition, those seeking concealed-carry permits must submit the details of their social media accounts dating back three years and complete a gun-proficiency training course.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom, shortly after the ruling was issued, said Democratic lawmakers “anticipated this moment” and would be considering legislation to bolster the state’s laws regarding carrying in public, according to Politico. “California has proven that common-sense gun laws save lives,” he said, “and we will continue to stand up to those in political power who enable and coddle the gun industry.”

California state Attorney General Rob Bonta last week announced legislation intended to counteract the Supreme Court’s decision. SB 918, which was introduced in February in anticipation of the unfavorable ruling, is with the state Assembly and will likely be picked up after summer recess. The specifics of the proposed legislation are not yet known, but officials have already hinted at the possibility that it will be similar to what New York has enacted. New Jersey is expected to push laws to this effect as well. Gov. Phil Murphy has urged state lawmakers to convene a summer session to add more provisions to the state’s concealed carry laws.

Other former “may issue” states have not yet followed suit. But it would not be unexpected to see more legislation from them sooner rather than later.

Fortunately, it appears gun rights groups are not planning to allow these new laws to go unchallenged. The National Rifle Association issued a statement saying that “anti-gun governors and their allies in the state legislatures stand in open defiance of the nation’s highest court” and declared it would “fight for law abiding gun owners and ensure that their rights are restored as is called for under this landmark decision.”

Now come the legal fights. Gun rights groups have already signaled they will challenge the new concealed carry laws in court. A National Rifle Association spokesperson said in a statement that “anti-gun governors and their allies in the state legislatures stand in open defiance of the nation’s highest court” and vowed to “fight for law abiding gun owners and ensure that their rights are restored as is called for under this landmark decision.”

Four gun owners in the District of Columbia filed a lawsuit on Thursday against the District and Police Chief Robert J. Contee III. The suit alleges that the District’s ban on carrying guns on the Metro is unconstitutional in light of the Bruen decision. “The regulation at issue in this case, runs afoul of the Second Amendment because it lacks any historical justification, is arbitrary and capricious, and unnecessarily impinges on the core right of self-protection,” the plaintiffs alleged.

The Hill reported:

Plaintiffs Gregory T. Angelo, Tyler Yzaguirre, Robert M. Miller and Cameron M. Erickson, all of whom say they regularly use the Metro and have concealed carry permits, said that “public transportation vehicles and stations, essentially the D.C. Metro, share few, if any, characteristics” with other locations designated as “sensitive areas” by the District.

The District of Columbia does not allow firearms in schools, government buildings, medical offices, businesses that serve alcohol or polling places where voting is taking place, designating these areas as “sensitive” due to a higher risk of public shooting than other places.

The battle over gun rights has just begun, with both sides readying their offense in court. Now that the court has made its ruling, we can expect to see even more lawsuits pop up as Democrats continue trying to make it difficult for law-abiding gun owners to obtain firearms.

The anti-gunner lobby has an uphill climb, however. The Bruen decision makes it pretty clear that governments making it excessively difficult for people to carry firearms outside their homes is a clear infringement on the right to bear arms. It’s not easy to bear arms when governments are trying to limit where you can carry them and imposing extreme requirements to obtain a permit, right? Nevertheless, these battles will likely carry on for the next couple of years as the details get hammered out. But at this point, it has still become easier for people to exercise their Second Amendment rights.


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