Joe Biden said he is “deeply disappointed” with the Supreme Court’s decision Thursday to strike down a New York law that restricted access to concealed carry permits of handguns, saying in a statement that it “contradicts both common sense and the Constitution.”
The 6-3 ruling, which was authored by Justice Clarence Thomas, found that there’s a fundamental right to carry a concealed handgun outside the home in public for self-defense.
“We too agree, and now hold, consistent with Heller and McDonald, that the Second and Fourteenth Amendments protect an individual’s right to carry a handgun for self-defense outside the home,” Thomas wrote in the opinion. “We know of no other constitutional right that an individual may exercise only after demonstrating to government officers some special need.”
In a statement released hours after the Supreme Court released its decision, Biden expressed his deep disappointment in the ruling, and said it should “deeply trouble us all.”
Joe Biden NOT happy with Supreme Court ruling on guns
"This ruling contradicts both common sense and the Constitution…" pic.twitter.com/8TdCz3xMzl
— Charlie Spiering (@charliespiering) June 23, 2022
“Since 1911, the State of New York has required individuals who would like to carry a concealed weapon in public to show a need to do so for the purpose of self-defense and to acquire a license,” the statement reads. “More than a century later, the United States Supreme Court has chosen to strike down New York’s long-established authority to protect its citizens. This ruling contradicts both common sense and the Constitution, and should deeply trouble us all.”
The statement continues:
In the wake of the horrific attacks in Buffalo and Uvalde, as well as the daily acts of gun violence that do not make national headlines, we must do more as a society — not less — to protect our fellow Americans. I remain committed to doing everything in my power to reduce gun violence and make our communities safer. I have already taken more executive actions to reduce gun violence than any other President during their first year in office, and I will continue to do all that I can to protect Americans from gun violence.
I urge states to continue to enact and enforce commonsense laws to make their citizens and communities safer from gun violence. As the late Justice Scalia recognized, the Second Amendment is not absolute. 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.
I call on Americans across the country to make their voices heard on gun safety. Lives are on the line.
New York Governor Kathy Hochul, a Democrat, also condemned the ruling, calling it a “dark day” for New York that “is sending us backwards.
Hochul stated when the 2nd Amendment was written, U.S. citizens only had access to muskets and that she was “prepared to go back to muskets” through gun regulations.
New York Governor Kathy Hochul called the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling on concealed handguns ‘reckless’ and ‘reprehensible.’ She told New Yorkers, ‘I'm sorry this dark day has come’ https://t.co/h8ASspvJrY pic.twitter.com/Ua9tHPUCwQ
— Reuters (@Reuters) June 23, 2022
The case, New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc. v. Bruen, was the first major 2nd Amendment case to come before the Supreme Court in more than a decade.
In New York, the law required a person to show “proper cause” before being able to obtain a concealed carry license, giving state officials the power to determine whether applicants had a good reason for needing a firearm.
“In this case, petitioners and respondents agree that ordinary, law-abiding citizens have a similar right to carry handguns publicly for their self-defense. We too agree, and now hold, consistent with Heller and McDonald, that the Second and Fourteenth Amendments protect an individual’s right to carry a handgun for self-defense outside the home,” Justice Clarence Thomas wrote in the Court’s opinion. “Because the State of New York issues public-carry licenses only when an applicant demonstrates a special need for self-defense, we conclude that the State’s licensing regime violates the Constitution.”
Some Court watchers say the ruling could be an indication that SCOTUS would consider any “red flag” law passed by Congress to be unconstitutional.
The Supreme Court is expected to hand down more than a dozen rulings Thursday and Friday, including Dobbs v. Jackson, the abortion case in which the court could overturn Roe v. Wade.