SCOTUS decision on right to carry is a huge win for gun owners

You don’t have to take my word for it either, although I’d certainly encourage you to check out today’s Bearing Arms’ Cam & Co in the video window to get my take on why this is such an important decision. Just look at the utter meltdown happening on the Left after the Supreme Court ruled 6-3 that New York’s “may issue” laws violate the Second and Fourteenth Amendment rights of Americans.


That’s CNN’s Jeffrey Toobin engaging in a bit of mental masturbation (thankfully, only mental this time around) over the SCOTUS ruling, declaring that with this decision the Court is “moving towards” overturning every single gun law in the country, which simply isn’t the case. Today’s ruling cast no doubt on the constitutionality of “shall issue” regimes, and while Toobin is correct in noting that the decision will have an impact beyond the right to carry, a “history, text, and tradition” test of gun control laws won’t result in every longstanding regulation on the right to keep and bear arms to be thrown out on constitutional grounds.

Other lefties are demanding that Democrats pack the court in retaliation for SCOTUS recognizing the right to bear arms in self-defense.

Not gonna happen, Ed. Your colleagues Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema have made it clear that they’re not going to nuke filibuster for any reason, including expanding the size of the Supreme Court, and after the midterms Democrats aren’t likely to be in a position to pass anything through the House, and perhaps not even the Senate as well. We’re going to have a nine-justice Court for the forseeable future, and that means a Court that isn’t willing to write the Second Amendment out of the Constitution or treat it as a second-class right.


Still, that does seem to be the argument that the Left is settling on.

I suggest nominating the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, the Elf on the Shelf, and the Lucky Charms leprechaun to fill those new seats that Democrats aren’t going to get.

Gun control groups aren’t handling today’s decision any better, which isn’t surprising given that the Bruen opinion authored by Justice Clarence Thomas drives a stake through the heart of their agenda. Brady’s Jonathan Lowy, for instance, declared that the Court “invented” a right to bear arms that has “never existed” before now.

“The court is hell-bent on making the Second Amendment into a super right that can trump all other rights,” Lowy said. “That is madness. This decision is radical judicial extremism at its worst, and Americans will die as a result.”

That sentiment was shared by other gun control advocates, who repeatedly said Thursday’s ruling would lead to more deaths.

“I’m here because today the Supreme Court released a decision that will kill young people,” said Yvin Shin, a legal associate at March for our Lives.

She said the group, which formed following a mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Fla., had filed an amicus brief in the case detailing stories of young people impacted by gun violence.

“The court today overturned 100 years of settled law,” Shin said. “It has demonstrated once again that this Court is an undemocratic political animal, one that is not interested in moving with public opinion with settled constitutional jurisprudence or in protecting the lives of children.”


No, the Court did not overturn 100 years of settled law. It finally recognized that the plain text of the Second Amendment means what it says; we the people have both a right to keep arms in our home and to bear them in public for self-defense. Just as importantly, however, the Court established that the two-step test to determine the constitutionality of any given gun law that’s been widely adopted by lower courts is incorrect and not suitable for determining whether a gun control law violates the Second Amendment. I’ll let Slate’s Mark Joseph Stern, who’s no fan of today’s decision, explain what the SCOTUS standard laid out in Bruen means to future cases.

In striking down New York’s restriction, the justice also established a new standard for evaluating gun control measures. First, he asked whether a law interferes with rights protected in “the plain text” of the Second Amendment—specifically, the right to self-defense (which is not actually in the amendment’s text). If so, Thomas explained, that law is presumptively unconstitutional. The government may only save it from invalidation if it can prove that the regulation “is consistent with this nation’s historical tradition of firearm regulation.”

In other words, courts may no longer rely on empirical evidence in upholding gun control laws. They cannot, for instance, cite the heightened lethality of a particular weapon. Such data is now irrelevant. Rather, they can only ask whether there is some “historical analogue” from 1791 (when the Second Amendment was ratified) or 1868 (when the 14th Amendment was ratified, applying the Second Amendment to the states). One might assume that this analysis would only shield weapons that were in common use in 1791 or 1868. But Thomas clarified that “any modern instruments that facilitate armed self-defense” are also protected under the Constitution, even if they did not exist until recently.


That’s the biggest impact of today’s decision. The right to carry aspect will only impact those few remaining “may issue” states, but the test that Thomas laid out will make it nearly impossible to justify bans on commonly-owned arms like AR-15s or “large capacity” magazines, and casts major doubt on other gun control initiatives from microstamping to requiring gun owners to obtain liability insurance before they can legally possess a firearm.

The Second Amendment shouldn’t apply only to muskets and single shot pistols any more than our First Amendment protections should only cover political opinions written down on parchment paper with the use of a quill pen. Firearms technology, like our means of communication, may change over time, but the underlying right cannot be diminished or destroyed without changing the Constitution itself. It’s worth noting that even the most vocal of gun control activists are talking about packing the Court instead of amending the Constitution, because they know full well that there’s no chance that a move to repeal the Second Amendment would succeed. Instead, they’re trying to comfort themselves with the fantasies of expanding the Court and undoing the right to keep and bear arms by overturning Heller, McDonald, and now Bruen. It’s just as unlikely to happen, but after today’s decision I guess I can understand why they’d need some sort of coping mechanism to help keep their homes of a disarmed citizenry alive.


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