Trump’s Justices Tip Supreme Court to Strike Down NY Gun Control Carry Permit Law
Liberal on court say conceal carry will lead to ‘gun-related chaos’
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When he was running for president in 2016, Donald Trump said he would put justices on the Supreme Court who support the Second Amendment.
That promise was fulfilled Wednesday when all the justices he appointed -- Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett focused their questions on the requirement in New York’s law which requires proof of a “proper cause” to carry a gun outside the home for self defense, which is virtually impossible to do.
It’s clear the Supreme Court conservative majority wants to make Second Amendment rights equal for all Americans. Six of the justices asked questions in oral arguments Wednesday that shot holes in the New York conceal carry permitting scheme that infringes on the right to bear arms.
I updated this infographic after oral arguments. Do you see the change?
But it’s not all a clean shot to the opinion next year. It’s not clear if the court will rule in a way that affects all the other “may issue” states— California, Maryland, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Delaware and Hawaii - or determine where guns can be carried.
I highly recommend listening to the audio from court because it brings it to life. The link to it and the transcript are in my sources at the end.
The Conservative Majority Speaks
Justice Clarence Thomas has waited years to have the votes to get a good carry case to the court to complete addressing the issues related to the Second Amendment that were left out of Heller -- restrictions to carrying outside the home and types of weapons.
(I suspect in the next session, the court may take up a case on bans on “assault weapons” and “high capacity magazines.”)
While multiple cases on gun carry have appealed to the Supreme Court over the years, the justices took up this case because the state already in essence grants that there is a right to carry outside the home with licenses for taking guns hunting and target shooting. The limit set by the State is carrying a gun for self defense.
The newest justice, Amy Coney Barrett, asked New York Solicitor General Barbara Underwood the most important and simple question of the day:
JUSTICE BARRETT: General Underwood, do you think Heller was rightly decided?
Underwood hemmed and hawed. She wouldn’t say it outright. Biden would have her head. So she just said in the end, “I have no quarrel with Heller. “
That’s hardly reassuring from the government’s top lawyer about a Supreme Court ruling that establishes a human right enshrined in the Constitution cannot be infringed.
Toward the end of the two hour oral argument, Chief Justice Roberts seems to be looking to see how broad the opinion can be to address others carry issues that have gotten up to the high court. He says this:
You can say that the right is limited in a particular way, just as First Amendment rights are limited, but the idea that you need a license to exercise the right, I think, is unusual in the context of the Bill of Rights.
He didn’t say it, but Texas, Arizona, Vermont and so many others have either permitless or what’s referred to as “constitutional carry”, and the system is working fine. These citizens are just exercising their Second Amendment rights when carrying a gun outside the home.
Liberal Justices Parry Gun-Control Activists
While the three liberals on the court were outgunned by the other justices, they dutifully asked questions that have been common arguments for gun-control activists who protested outside during the oral arguments. Their positions matched those of the New York State Solicitor General and the activists outside.
First, they believe people who go through the process to get a legal permit, generally background check and training, are a danger to society. Justice Breyer’s questions to the plaintiff’s lawyer Paul Clement illuminated the liberal argument
JUSTICE BREYER: You think that in New York City people should have considerable freedom to carry concealed weapons. I think that people of good moral character who start drinking a lot and who may be there for a football game or -- or some kind of soccer game can get pretty angry at each other. And if they each have a concealed weapon, who knows?
And there are plenty of statistics in these briefs to show there's some people who do know, and a lot of people end up dead, okay?
And even following Heller and following the history, which I thought was wrong, even so, what are we supposed to say in your opinion that is going to be clear enough that we will not produce a kind of gun-related chaos?
“Gun-related chaos” made me laugh at my phone playing the audio.
The old liberal guard still thinks -- despite all the evidence in 43 states -- that law abiding people will carry a gun and suddenly become wild, irresponsible and likely criminals.
I think if Justice Breyer carried a gun himself for a couple of weeks, he might see that the object doesn’t turn normal people into Squid Game killer guard in a red suit.
Breyer also defended New York law that differentiates between citizens who get carry permits for shooting sports and those who want to just have a gun for self defense.
The difference, of course, you have a concealed weapon to go hunting. You're out with an intent to shoot, say, a deer or a rabbit, which has its problems. But, here, when you have self-defense just for whatever you want to carry a concealed weapon, you go shooting it around and somebody gets killed.
Rural violent crime logic
The liberals second argument, which is related to the first, is that it’s safe for society to give the carry license to people who live in rural areas because they are less likely to get in fights and kill each other. This is how the New York law is being processed -- giving more “restricted” permits to people in upstate than people in the city who face much more daily dangers on the streets.
Justice Thomas had some fun with this line of reasoning by asking New York’s solicitor general to explain it:
General Underwood, you seem to rely a bit on the density of the population. You say, I think, that states like New York have high density areas. And implicit in that is that the more rural an area is, the more unnecessary a strict rule is. So, when you suggest that, how rural does the area to be before your restrictions shouldn't apply?
His question was so perfect to corner her into defending the nonsense rationale by the New York law.
Chief Justice Roberts jumped in to bring the debate back to the fundamental question of gun laws violating the constitution that has not yet been addressed by the court.
Now Heller relied on the right to defense as a basis for its reading of the -- of the Second Amendment — or that was its reading. Now I would think that arises in more populated areas.
If you're out in the woods, presumably, it's pretty unlikely that you're going to run into someone who's going to rob you on the street.
On the other hand, there are places in a densely populated city where it's more likely that that's where you're going to need a gun for self-defense and, you know, however many policemen are assigned, that, you know, there are high-crime areas. And it seems to me that what you're saying is that's probably the last place that someone's going to get a permit to carry a gun.
Regardless of what we think of the policy of that, how is that consistent with Heller's reasoning that the reason the Second Amendment applies a direct personal right is for self-defense?
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