After the Supreme Court upheld the right to bear arms last month, some states quickly complied with the ruling by removing the subjective requirements for carrying a weapon in public. But other states are dragging their feet or refusing to acknowledge the implications of the decision.
The court said New York violated the Second Amendment by requiring a “proper cause” to carry weapons to defend itself, a standard that gave local officials ample discretion to reject applications for carrying permits. But anti-gun politicians have other tricks up their sleeve, including equally vague standards and bans on firearms possession in specific places, which will invite new litigation to claim a fundamental right guaranteed by the Constitution.
New York responded to the Court’s reprimand with a law that removes the “proper cause” requirement but specifies a long list of “sensitive places” where gun ownership is a felony punishable by up to four years in prison. Such restrictions will make it impracticable or legally dangerous for many permit holders to actually exercise the right recognized by the Court.
In addition to listing countless places where permit holders may not carry firearms, New York law prohibits guns in all private establishments open to the public unless they place visible signs announcing that they are deviating from the default rule, a step that many entrepreneurs will be reluctant to take. catch. A bill backed by California Gov. Gavin Newsom and Attorney General Rob Bonta takes a similar approach.
New York law maintains the requirement that permit applicants demonstrate “good moral character,” an assessment that includes consulting their social media posts. Bonta also argues that California’s standard of “good moral character” remains constitutional, and suggests that controversial opinions may be disqualifying.
UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh, a First Amendment expert, thinks such a comprehensive investigation is “clearly unconstitutional.” Volokh points out that “the government cannot restrict the actions of ordinary citizens, let alone their constitutionally protected actions, based on the views they express.”
Although Massachusetts has abandoned its “good reason” criterion for transportation permits, it still requires an applicant to be “a suitable person to possess firearms,” a standard that leaves considerable room for subjective judgments. The same vague requirement applies in Connecticut, where Attorney General William Tong has vowed to resist any change in the law.
Delaware requires a transportation permit applicant to demonstrate “good moral character” and “good reputation for peace and order.” The National Shooting Sports Foundation, an industry group, reports that Delaware officials are taking a “wait and see” approach, meaning the law is unlikely to change without additional litigation.
In Rhode Island, the attorney general “can issue” a transportation permit based on a “proper demonstration of necessity,” while local licensing authorities will “issue” a permit “if it appears” that the applicant is “a suitable person. to obtain the license “. ”And“ you have good reason to fear injury to your person either ”or you have“ any other proper reason ”to carry a gun. Attorney General Peter Neronha seems to think his state’s rules are different enough from those in New York so no reform is needed.
Instead, Hawaii Attorney General Holly Shikada said last week that a hidden transportation applicant in that state will no longer be required to prove he represents “an exceptional case” and that he has “grounds to fear harm” to his “person.” or property “. Maryland and New Jersey recently abandoned similar requirements: “good and substantial reason” in Maryland and “justified need” in New Jersey.
Even before the Court’s ruling, the vast majority of states did not require permits to carry firearms or had transportation permit laws, meaning applications were generally approved as long as gun owners met objective criteria. Those policies recognize, as the Court did, that “the right of the people to own and bear arms” cannot be treated as a privilege for the lucky few.
Some politicians still seem determined to reject that point. They will not respect the rights of their constituents until new constitutional challenges force them to do so.
Jacob Sullum is senior editor of Reason magazine. Follow him on Twitter: @JacobSullum.
Politicians defy the Supreme Court’s ruling on the right to bear arms – Press Telegram Source link Politicians defy the Supreme Court’s ruling on the right to bear arms – Press Telegram