Democrats across the country Thursday blasted the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down a more than 100-year-old New York state law that required individuals seeking a license to carry a concealed weapon to show a need to do so for the purpose of self-defense.
President Joe Biden said in a statement that he was “deeply disappointed” in the ruling, which he argued “contradicts both common sense and the Constitution.”
The president pointed to recent mass shootings in Buffalo, N.Y., and Uvalde, Texas, as reasons for more restrictive laws to curb gun violence.
“For centuries, states have regulated who may purchase or possess weapons, the types of weapons they may use, and the places they may carry those weapons. And the courts have upheld these regulations,” Biden said. “I call on Americans across the country to make their voices heard on gun safety. Lives are on the line.”
The court ruled on a 6-3 basis to overturn the New York law along ideological lines, with the court’s three liberals voting to uphold the law. While the ruling strikes down the New York law and laws in six other states that enable state licensing officials to use subjective judgment in withholding a concealed carry permit, it upholds licensing requirements in 43 other states that are based on “objective measures.”
Conservative Justice Clarence wrote the opinion of the court, stating that the New York law violates the Constitution’s Second and 14th Amendments, which protect “ordinary, law-abiding citizens’…right to carry handguns publicly for their self-defense.”
Democratic Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosch, where the ruling could impact state laws that require applicants for a concealed carry permit to show they have “a good and substantial reason” to be granted the permit, strongly criticized the ruling.
“Today’s decision means more deaths and more pain in a country already awash in gun violence,” he said in a statement. “If the norm is that people can carry firearms, our neighborhoods, our streets and other public places will become more dangerous.”
Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York reportedly called the ruling “downright dangerous,” in comments to reporters Thursday morning.
Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy praised the decision in a Thursday statement.
“The Constitution protects the right of law-abiding Americans to own a firearm for self-defense through the Second Amendment,” he said. “While states like New York have tried to restrict that right through burdensome laws and regulations, the Supreme Court has, on multiple occasions, recognized it, and today strengthened it. Today’s ruling rightfully ensures the right of all law-abiding Americans to defend themselves without unnecessary government interference.”