Blue state Dems set to impose new (and unconstitutional) carry bans

I don’t think any Second Amendment supporters believed that the Democrats in charge of the “may issue” states immediately impacted by the Supreme Court’s decision in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen were going to simply roll over and accept the Court’s ruling that the right to bear arms in self-defense is an individual and fundamental right, but the anti-gun left is wasting no time in defying SCOTUS by proposing a host of new restrictions aimed at minimizing the Court’s decision and curtailing the right to carry for as many citizens as possible.

In New York, Gov. Kathy Hochul is calling legislators back to Albany for an “extraordinary session” in response to the Bruen decision, and is proposing to ban the lawful carrying of firearms in a variety of locations, including virtually all private businesses; a move that’s also a part of New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy’s plans for a concealed carry crackdown.

Ms. Hochul has suggested barring guns from schools, places of worship and events attended by a certain number of people. She has also said the state might ban guns from businesses as a default, making exceptions for those who affirm that they want guns on their property. And she said that training and storage requirements might also be on the table for those seeking permits.

Along with the sensitive places that Ms. Hochul has mentioned, New York is considering designating all places where alcohol is served (such as bars, large sporting events) and where children spend time (such as nurseries, playgrounds and day cares). Other places under consideration as “sensitive” include college campuses, hospitals and casinos.

The state may also be able to restrict the carrying of guns outside such places, according to one of the people with knowledge of the discussions, though they will have to be careful not to place large swathes of densely populated areas off limits, which would likely run afoul of the ruling.

It’s cute that Hochul’s confidants are pretending to give a dam about running afoul of the Bruen decision at the same time they’re completely ignoring what the decision had to say about efforts like this. Justice Thomas specifically warned New York about trying to make most of the state or a given city a “gun-free zone,” but that admonishment has fallen on willfully deaf ears.

Although we have no occasion to comprehensively define “sensitive places” in this case, we do think respondents err in their attempt to characterize New York’s proper-cause requirement as a “sensitive-place” law. In their view, “sensitive places” where the government may lawfully disarm law-abiding citizens include all “places where people typically congregate and where law-enforcement and other public-safety professionals are presumptively available.”

It is true that people sometimes congregate in “sensitive places,” and it is likewise true that law enforcement professionals are usually presumptively available in those locations. But expanding the category of “sensitive places” simply to all places of public congregation that are not isolated from law enforcement defines the category of “sensitive places” far too broadly. Respondents’ argument would in effect exempt cities from the Second Amendment and would eviscerate the general right to publicly carry arms for self-defense that we discuss in detail below. Put simply, there is no historical basis for New York to effectively declare the island of Manhattan a “sensitive place” simply because it is crowded and protected generally by the New York City Police Department.

As we talked about on Monday’s Cam & Co, anti-gun politicians in California are encouraging local police chiefs and county sheriffs to use the state’s “good moral character” clause to continue to deprive law-abiding citizens of their right to bear arms, while in Hawaii lawmakers are looking at “screening, training requirements and ways to keep guns out of public spaces,” according to state Sen. Chris Lee. Meanwhile, Hawaii gun owners have been lining up to apply for a license now that the “good cause” requirement has been declared unconstitutional.

Andrew Namiki Roberts and Jon Abbott, of the Hawaii Firearms Coalition, were the fourth and fifth people Thursday morning to apply for a concealed weapon permit at the Honolulu Police Department’s downtown headquarters.

Roberts says the state and counties aren’t currently issuing permits but will have to under the Supreme Court ruling.

“So we’re glad. We’re super excited,” Roberts said.

“We know that we’re going to get concealed carry permits. We know that we’re going to get open carry permits. We know that the law is going to change. Law-abiding citizens in Hawaii will be able to carry a firearm.”

Eventually that will indeed be the case, but Democrats are going to make it as difficult as possible in the meantime. That includes passing new laws that don’t have a chance of being upheld under the standard laid out in Bruen, which means that gun owners and Second Amendment activists can’t get complacent. Yes, we won a critically important case at the Supreme Court, and one that will have wide-ranging and positive implications for our right to keep and bear arms, but as the anti-gun left is demonstrating in states and cities across the country, the fight for full recognition of our Second Amendment rights is far from over.