WASHINGTON (CBS News) — The Supreme Court on Thursday issued awhich imposed strict restrictions on carrying concealed firearms in public for self-defense, and found it unconstitutional to require applicants seeking a concealed-carrying license to demonstrate “proper cause.”
In a 6-3 ruling, the Supreme Court overturned a lower court decision that upheld New York’s 108-year-old law restricting who can be licensed to carry a concealed gun in public. Proponents of the measure warned that a Supreme Court ruling invalidating the measure could threaten gun restrictions in several states and lead to more firearms on city streets.
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Judge Clarence Thomas delivered the majority opinion before the ideologically divided court, writing that New York’s “demand for good reason” prevented law-abiding citizens from exercising their Second Amendment rights, 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 set of rules than the other Bill of Rights guarantees,'” Thomas wrote. “We know of no other constitutional right that a person may exercise only after demonstrating a special need to government officials. That’s not how the First Amendment works when it comes to unpopular speech or the free exercise of religion. It’s not how the Sixth Amendment works when it comes to a defendant’s right to confront the witnesses against him. And it’s not how the Second Amendment works when it comes to wearing it in public for self-defense.
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