The ruling “establishes a very high bar for all gun restrictions,” constitutional lawyer Jeff Lewis told The Daily Beast.

By Justin Rohrlich, The Daily Beast

In a majority opinion authored by Justice Clarence Thomas, the Supreme Court has cleared the way for even looser gun laws as the nation continues to reel from near-daily mass shootings that have claimed 312 lives in 2022 alone.

People examine pistols at a gun show

Thomas, a President George H. W. Bush nominee, wrote in the 6-3 decision that the Second Amendment protects the right of individuals to carry a gun outside the home. The court struck down New York’s “proper-cause” requirement to obtain a concealed-carry license, saying it “violates the Fourteenth Amendment by preventing law-abiding citizens with ordinary self-defense needs from exercising their Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms in public for self-defense.”

In concurring, Justice Samuel Alito wrote, “The police cannot disarm every person who acquires a gun for use in criminal activity; nor can they provide bodyguard protection for the State’s nearly 20 million residents or the 8.8 million people who live in New York City. Some of these people live in high-crime neighborhoods. Some must traverse dark and dangerous streets in order to reach their homes after work or other evening activities. Some are members of groups whose members feel especially vulnerable. And some of these people reasonably believe that unless they can brandish or, if necessary, use a handgun in the case of attack, they may be murdered, raped, or suffer some other serious injury.”

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