WASHINGTON (CBS News) — The Supreme Court on Thursday overturned awhich placed strict restrictions on the carrying of concealed firearms in public for self-defense, finding its requirement that applicants for a concealed carry license show “good cause” to be unconstitutional.
In a 6-3 ruling, the Supreme Court reversed a lower court decision upholding New York’s 108-year-old law limiting who can get a license to carry a concealed weapon in public. Supporters of the measure warned that a high court ruling invalidating it could threaten gun restrictions in several states and lead to more guns on city streets.
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Justice Clarence Thomas delivered the ideologically divided court’s majority opinion, writing that New York’s “good cause requirement” prevented law-abiding citizens from exercising their Second Amendment right, and its licensing regime is unconstitutional.
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“The constitutional right to bear arms in public for self-defense is not ‘a second-class right, subject to an entirely different body of rules than the other guarantees in the Bill of Rights,’” Thomas wrote. “We are not aware of any other constitutional right that an individual can exercise only after demonstrating to government officials some special need. This is not how the First Amendment works when it comes to unpopular speech or the free exercise of religion. That is not how the Sixth Amendment works when it comes to the defendant’s right to confront witnesses against him. And that’s not how the Second Amendment works when it comes to public carrying for self-defense.”
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