In the wake of two deadly shootings in Buffalo, NY and Uvalde, TX, the Supreme Court is set to issue a ruling in a New York state gun rights case likely to expand second amendment protec­tions and afford indi­vidual gun owners carrying weapons off their own property.

The case in question, New York State Rifle & Pistol Asso­ci­ation v. Bruen is likely not whether the conservative major­ity of justices will strike down the state’s century-old hand­gun licens­ing require­ment, but how far they will go in questioning the constitutionality of other licens­ing meas­ures in other states.

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The Brennan Center explains:

Can offi­cials prohibit hand­guns in courtrooms and schools? What about college campuses or hospit­als? When the Court heard oral argu­ment in Novem­ber, the six-member conser­vat­ive major­ity seemed far more inter­ested in explor­ing the contours of an expan­ded Second Amend­ment than in whether it ought to be expan­ded. This approach to gun regu­la­tion is a sea change from the Court’s histor­ical approach to the amend­ment, but it should come as no surprise to anyone who has followed the arc of the Court’s juris­pru­dence in this area over the past 15 years.

And continues:

The current Supreme Court is far more conser­vat­ive and far more friendly to gun rights than the one that first recog­nized a personal right to bear arms under the Second Amend­ment in District Columbia v. Heller in 2008. Or the Supreme Court that acknow­ledged two years later in McDon­ald v. Chicago that such protec­tions apply to state laws and regu­la­tions as well. Gone since then is Justice Ruth Bader Gins­burg, a foe of expan­ded gun rights. In her place is Justice Amy Coney Barrett, whose view of the Second Amend­ment is viewed by many as even more expans­ive than that of the late Justice Antonin Scalia, the author of Heller.

Justice Thomas via Flickr / Cknight70

That reports adds that “Justice Clar­ence Thomas, an extreme gun rights supporter, urged his colleagues on the Court over and over again to accept more Second Amend­ment chal­lenges to exist­ing gun laws. He wanted the Supreme Court to use the newly recog­nized “personal” right under the Second Amend­ment to sweep away regu­la­tions restrict­ing the posses­sion and use of fire­arms.”

Thomas’ arguments were rejected by his peers on the court for years, until that is, three ultra-conservative justices were appointed by Former President Donald Trump, meaning that gun restrictions may be facing a day of reckoning.

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According to ULCA law professor Adam Winkler “It does seem relatively clear that the court is going to strike down New York’s law and make it harder for cities and states to restrict concealed carry of firearms. It remains to be seen exactly how broad the Supreme Court goes, but one thing is clear: as mass shootings become more of a political issue, the court is going to take options away from lawmakers on the basis of the Second Amendment.”

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Christopher Powell