Democratic-led states that have lost power over concealed carry are looking for more ways to publicly ban guns.
Within hours of the Supreme Court’s historic Second Amendment ruling last week, Democratic-led courts began scrambling to find new ways to limit guns in public.
The ruling says the law requiring applicants to have a concealed carry license to prove they have a specific self-defense requirement violates the Second and 14th Amendments. The sweeping change overturned a 1913 New York law and extended the concealed carry system to several other states.
The prospect of more people carrying concealed guns in populous jurisdictions that generally favor tighter restrictions ignited a political storm last Thursday that cast a shadow over a landmark settlement bill to be passed in the Senate later that day. (President Joe Biden signed the bill in law on saturday.) And it promised to widen a growing rift between blue states, which generally favor a strict gun policy, and red states, which generally aim to preserve or loosen gun restrictions.
“Getting a license would be easy,” said Eric Reuben, a Second Amendment specialist at Southern Methodist University’s Dedman School of Law. “You can expect more people in these affected states to be carrying handguns.”
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) Legislature called for Albany to address change. California legislators began moving the bills they had drafted in preparation for the Supreme Court ruling.
in Hawaii, which has issued Only four concealed carry permits in the past two decadesThe legislators contemplated how to preserve the state’s strict policies. Meanwhile, people Lined up outside the Honolulu Police Department Applying for a Concealed Carry Permit before the new laws take effect.
New York law required concealed carry applicants to show that they had a specific need for self-defense rather than a general fear of being attacked. States with similar policies — New Jersey, Massachusetts, Maryland, Rhode Island, Delaware and California — can no longer enforce that requirement, eliminating an important filter for limiting concealed carry permits.
Losing that equipment is leading lawmakers to expand “gun-free zones” to public transportation infrastructure and crowded places in affected states.
New York City Council President Adrienne Adams said on Thursday she would sponsor a resolution that make the whole city A gun free zone. However, this strategy would conflict with the opinion of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, who held that jurisdiction cannot limit concealed carry based solely on population size or density.
In a way, the decision is as important to him as what he doesn’t say as to what he does. Over the years, conservative activists have pushed laws through several state legislatures allowing people to carry a concealed carry weapon without having to apply for a license. Supporters often refer to this measure as “constitutional carry”.
But last week’s decision upheld the hidden licensing system — which some legal experts thought the Supreme Court might do away with altogether.
“They could have set permitless carry as the constitutional floor,” Rubin said. “He didn’t do that.”
This means that the local jurisdiction will still have the latitude to limit the concealed carry.
Even with state law, for example, New York City has one of the highest bars in the country to obtain a concealed carry permit.
The applicant will have to go through a lengthy process that involves filling up a 17-page application, pulling together many supporting documentsPassing background checks, and going through police interviews—only to get the license needed to buy a handgun in the first place.
The current wait time to obtain a New York City handgun license is between one and two years, according to Arnold Wachtel of Advanced Protection Consultants, a business that helps applicants navigate the system. Only after crossing that first hurdle can applicants proceed to apply for a Concealed Carry Permit.
In response to the ruling, legislators in some states are already considering implementing similar requirements. It is all constitutional to mandate education, training, exams, interviews or enhanced background checks before a concealed carry permit is issued.
“What those states are looking at is how you strengthen eligibility requirements,” said Adam Skaggs, lead attorney for Giffords Law Center, a gun reform group. “But all of these things can be challenged by the gun lobby.”