Supreme Court strikes down New York’s “May-Issue” Concealed Handgun Law, by rejecting the traditional balancing tests, the decision will have a major impact on all gun control laws.

Jun 23, 2022 | Concealed Handgun Permits

“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.”

From the SCOTUS opinion, June 23, 2022.

The Supreme Court has issued its ruling in New York State Rifle & Pistol Assn., Inc. v. Bruen (20-843).

The Supreme Court is explicitly rejecting any type of scrutiny in evaluating the Constitutionality of gun control laws. Lower courts have been using intermediate scrutiny, but in practice have been using lower-level scrutiny. If read literally, the court is rejecting any type of scrutiny, though I suspect many lower courts will still try to use strict scrutiny. Strict scrutiny requires that the law be narrowly tailored, meaning that there is no other way to accomplish the end result that they want to obtain — e.g., crime reduction.

“Since Heller and McDonald, the Courts of Appeals have devel- oped a “two-step” framework for analyzing Second Amendment challenges that combines history with means-end scrutiny. The Court rejects that two-part approach as having one step too many. Step one is broadly consistent with Heller, which demands a test rooted in the Second Amendment’s text, as informed by history. But Heller and McDonald do not support a second step that applies means-end scrutiny in the Second Amendment context. Heller’s methodology centered on constitutional text and history. It did not invoke any means-end test such as strict or intermediate scrutiny, and it expressly rejected any interest-balancing inquiry akin to intermediate scrutiny.”

Kavanaugh and Roberts were more restrictive than the other four justices in the majority, in that they emphasized that the case did not prevent “shall-issue” licensing per se.

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