US Supreme Court Decision Allows New Yorkers to Carry Guns in Public

US Supreme Court Decision Allows New Yorkers to Carry Guns in Public

By Yehudit Garmaise

By ruling in favor of two men who argued that they should be able to carry guns outside their homes, the US Supreme Court has struck down a 100-year-old law that New Yorkers may not carry guns in public without establishing “special needs” for self-defense.

Robert Nash and Brandon Koch, who had applied for the right to carry guns in public after a spate of violence in their Rensselaer County neighborhoods, passed the required background checks, obtained licenses to carry guns for hunting and target practice, and passed safety tests.

The plaintiffs, however, were denied permits when they were not able to establish that they had “actual and articulable” needs for self-defense, which were previously strictly required under the law to receive unrestricted gun licenses.

Along with a group affiliated with the National Rifle Association, Nash and Koch sued the state for violating their Second Amendment right to bear arms, which today the plaintiffs won in a 6-3 vote.

The amendment, as written in 1791, puts the right to bear arms in the context of the right of the citizens of a free state to create “a well-regulated militia,” to provide a check on the military might of the US government if it were to take aim against its own citizens.

While gun rights groups celebrated today’s ruling, gun safety advocates and the liberal justices who dissented greatly fear the ruling will lead to more shootings.

Gov. Kathy Hochul, who called the court's decision "shocking and frightful in its scope of how they are setting back this nation and our ability to protect our citizens,” said she would like to call the state legislature back into session in response to the ruling. 

New York City Mayor Eric Adams said the decision on guns, "put simply," will put New Yorkers "at further risk of gun violence." 

Photo: Flickr

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