In his concurrence, Justice Thomas illuminated the double standard many people have for gun rights when compared to other constitutional rights.
“The constitutional right to keep arms in public for self-defense reasons is not a ‘second-class’ right, which is subject to a distinct body of rules that the other Bill of Rights are not,” Thomas wrote.
“The use of other constitutional freedoms does not force people to show government officials a special need. The freedom and right to carry weapons in public for self-defense is no different, and New York’s proper-cause requirement breaks the 14th Amendment by stopping law-abiding citizens with legitimate self-defense needs from using their right to bear arms in public.”
According to Thomas, the text of the Second Amendment “neither distinguishes between homes and public places with respect to the right to keep and bear arms, nor does it define ‘bear.’ Furthermore, the Second Amendment guarantees a citizen’s ‘individual right to possess and carry weapons in case of confrontation,’ and such encounters can occur outside the home.”
The NRA, which brought the case, is applauding the victory.
“This is a tremendous victory for NRA members and gun owners across the country. New York’s egregious law, which arbitrarily determined whether or not residents had the right to self-defense, has been ruled as unconstitutional and will be changed. Residents of New York will soon be able to defend themselves when they are outside their homes without first having to establish a ‘need’ for them to do so,” NRA Institute for Legislative Action Executive Director Jason Ouimet stated.
“This is more than just a wonderful day for the state of New York because this decision opens the door for the law to be properly changed in the seven remaining states that do not recognize the right to carry a firearm for personal protection. For over 30 years, the NRA has been at the center of this movement and was delighted to bring this legal challenge against New York’s unconstitutional gun laws.”
The ruling does away with “may-issue” concealed carry permit restrictions in 19 states.