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Sunday, November 27, 2022

Bombshell Supreme Court gun ruling opens new state battles

Democratic-led states that have lost power over hidden wear are looking for more ways to restrict weapons in public.

Within hours of the Supreme Court’s landmark Second Amendment ruling last week, Democratic-led jurisdictions began scrambling to find new ways to restrict weapons in public.

The ruling says laws that require applicants for hidden carry licenses to prove they have a specific self-defense need violate the second and 14th amendments. The drastic change overturns a New York law dating back to 1913 and brings up hidden drag systems in several other states.

Shooting Range Owner John Deloca Prepares His Gun At His Range In Queens, New York, On June 23.
Shooting range owner John Deloca prepares his gun at his range in Queens, New York, on June 23.

ED JONES via Getty Images

The prospect of more people carrying hidden guns in populated jurisdictions that generally advocate stricter restrictions sparked a political storm last Thursday that cast a shadow over the historic compromise bill passed later that day in the Senate. (President Joe Biden signed the bill Set Saturday.) And it has promised to widen the growing gap between blue states, which generally advocate stricter arms policies, and red states, which are generally aimed at preserving or loosening arms restrictions.

“It’s going to be easier to get a license,” said Eric Ruben, a second modification expert at Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law. “You can expect more people in these affected states to carry handguns.”

In Hawaii, which issued only four hidden drapermites over the past two decades, legislators reflected on how to preserve the state’s strict policies. Meanwhile people acted outside the Honolulu Police Department to apply for concealed carry permits before new laws can come into force.

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 impose that requirement, eliminating a key filter to limit hidden transportation permits.

The loss of that instrument leads legislators in the affected states to look at expanding “gun-free zones” to public transportation infrastructure and overcrowded places.

New York City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams said Thursday she will sponsor a resolution that will do so make the whole city a gun-free zone. However, that strategy would conflict with the opinion of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, who said that jurisdictions cannot restrict hidden transportation based on population size or density alone.

But last week’s ruling left hidden carry – on licensing systems intact – which some legal experts thought the Supreme Court could do away with completely.

“They could carry permits without the constitutional floor set,” Rubin said. “They did not do it.”

This means local jurisdictions will still have room to restrict hidden transportation.

Even with state legislation, for example, New York City has one of the country’s highest bars for obtaining a concealed transportation permit.

The applicant must go through a lengthy process that involves completing a 17-page application, contracting several supporting documentspass a background check, and undergo a police interview – just to get the license needed to buy a handgun in the first place.

The current waiting time to obtain a New York City handgun license varies between one and two years, according to Arnold Wachtel of Advanced Protection Consultants, a company that helps applicants navigate the system. Only after the first hurdle is over can applicants move to apply for a hidden transport permit.

In response to the ruling, lawmakers in some states are already considering introducing similar requirements. The obligation of education, training, examinations, interviews or enhanced background checks prior to the issuance of concealed carry permits all remain constitutional.

“What those states are going to look at is how you strengthen the eligibility requirements,” said Adam Skaggs, chief attorney for the Giffords Law Center, a weapons reform group. “But any and all of these things can be challenged by the gun lobby.”

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