NY Defies the Supreme Court
After losing a huge gun case, the state willfully ignores the parameters of the Court’s ruling.
When a right is delineated in the Constitution, leftists hate it. When a right is fabricated out of nowhere, they love it. That is the essence of much of the division between the two political sides. We can’t even agree on what rights actually are.
Such is the case in New York, which just lost a Supreme Court case over its unconstitutional restrictions on concealed carry permits. New York’s “may issue” regime meant that authorities could deny carry permits for no reason at all. Oh, they’d say the applicant is the one who failed to demonstrate a “special need” for obtaining a permit, but the reality is that approval or denial could depend on what New York authorities had for breakfast that morning. Few permits were approved.
Via Justice Clarence Thomas’s thorough defense of the Second Amendment, the Court’s 6-3 majority said this violates the most basic constitutional right “to bear” arms outside the home. The Court is absolutely right.
Nevertheless, leftists hate gun rights with the intensity of a thousand suns, and they won’t rest when it comes to chipping away at those rights. New York Democrat Governor Kathy Hochul called the Court’s ruling “frightful in its scope” and called a special legislative session because, she insisted, “We are not powerless to respond to this.”
Respond they did. The state Senate (43-20) and Assembly (91-51) approved legislation that casts to the curb the Supreme Court’s decision. Hochul rang in Independence Day weekend by signing it.
New York’s new law heavily regulates the permitting process and greatly expands a list of what Thomas’s ruling called “sensitive places” where guns may be reasonably restricted. Perhaps Thomas missed an opportunity to more specifically define those “sensitive places,” but he did include a warning for New York and other states: “Expanding the category of ‘sensitive places’ simply to all places of public congregation that are not isolated from law enforcement defines the category of ‘sensitive places’ far too broadly,” which he said would “eviscerate the general right to publicly carry arms for self-defense.”
Just as gun-wielding assailants ignore — and even select victims based on — “gun-free zone” signs, New York Democrats blew through this warning on their way to deliberately violating a fresh Court ruling.
According to the Wall Street Journal editorial board:
The new New York statute … defines sensitive places to include airports, bars and restaurants that serve alcohol, courthouses, day-care facilities, playgrounds, parks, zoos, schools, entertainment venues, government buildings, houses of worship, libraries, public demonstrations and rallies, public transportation including subways and buses, and even Times Square.
The law also deems “no carry” as the default on private property unless declared permissible by the owners. Private property owners who allow concealed carry will have to publicly display this in signs, which may have free-speech implications.
The lengthy list of “sensitive places” is astounding. Indeed, it would have been easier for New York legislators to define places where a law-abiding citizen can carry a gun. Obviously, they deliberately targeted the very heart of the Supreme Court’s ruling.
As for permitting, applicants must now complete 16 hours of in-person courses, as well as another two hours of training on a gun range. That a gun owner should take care to train for their responsibility of carrying is not unreasonable, but taking two days off of work might be prohibitive for lower-income New Yorkers. In addition to that, applicants must provide four character references and “a list of former and current social media accounts of the applicant from the past three years.”
Leftists wouldn’t use someone’s social media postings for censorship purposes, would they? That question is rhetorical, of course. In this case, New York’s law aims to establish that permit applicants have “good moral character,” which evidently is up to the judgment of a bureaucrat reading his Twitter posts. That could mean violating the First Amendment on the way to trampling the Second.
This law will almost inevitably end up back in court for its willful violations of New Yorkers’ rights. Again.
Finally, we already alluded to the fact that Hochul signed this noxious gun control bill just before Independence Day. That highlights the brazen irony of it all. The first shots of the Revolutionary War were fired because the British came for the colonists’ guns. And the Founders wrote the Second Amendment because of the fundamental truth undergirding the revolution and the Declaration of Independence: Citizens have the right to defend themselves against the tyranny of the government. That’s the very reason there’s a Second Amendment. Hochul and company are vividly illustrating the need for it.
- Clarence Thomas
- Supreme Court
- Second Amendment
- Kathy Hochul
- gun control
- New York
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