On June 23, 2022, the Supreme Court struck down the New York concealed carry law, which requires applicants to demonstrate a threat to their physical wellbeing and more than a desire for protection to conceal a gun in public. When making the decision, the Supreme Court dismissed the traditional method that the lower courts used for determining the constitutionality of certain gun control measures. This two-part method focused on whether the measure follows the conduct of the second amendment and whether the measure advances public safety. In the Supreme Court ruling of New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen, Justice Clarence Thomas defended striking down the law, stating that New York’s law violates the 14th amendment by removing the people’s right to self-defense and the second amendment by preventing people from exercising their right to bear arms. Since the Second Amendment does not differentiate between carrying a gun in public or at home, Thomas argued that it was implied that the rights of the Second Amendment applied to carrying a gun in public. On the other hand, Justice Stephen Breyer stated the opinion that the Supreme Court overturned New York’s law “without considering the potentially deadly consequences of its decision.”
In the wake of mass shootings in Buffalo and Uvalde, this ruling caused political leaders to double down on gun safety measures. In New York, Governor Kathy Hochul vowed to take action against the ruling, possibly calling the state’s legislators into session to reevaluate their options. Although President Biden signed a bipartisan gun measure that requires tougher background checks for gun buyers under the age of 21 and provides mental health resources, this ruling has major implications for California, Hawaii, and Massachusetts which have enacted similar gun legislation. Repealing this law would allow more people to carry guns in populated cities and prevent other states from enacting similar legislation.