GOA releases statement on Bruen decision

AP Photo/Alex Brandon

The Gun Owners of America are one of the biggest gun rights groups in the nation, so it’s no surprise they offered their thoughts on NYSRPA v. Bruen. It’s also unsurprising that those thoughts were pro-gun. I mean, it’s only natural.

Now, the GOA has released a statement expressing its thoughts on the verdict.

Washington, D.C. – Today, Gun Owners of America (GOA) and Gun Owners Foundation (GOF) join their members and Second Amendment advocates across the nation in celebration of the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the restrictive and unconstitutional “may-issue” laws that were on the books in nine anti-gun states.

The Supreme Court’s ruling in New York State Rifle and Pistol Association, Inc. v. Bruen overturned the onerous statutes that allowed government entities to review and routinely deny — at their discretion — applicants who applied for a concealed carry permit. New York’s law was specifically challenged in the case, but the Supreme Court’s ruling will apply to the other eight states that still maintain “may-issue” laws. In addition to New York, the states include: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Rhode Island. The Court has held that “New York’s proper-cause requirement 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 his opinion for the 6-3 majority, Justice Thomas wrote in part:

“We too agree, and now hold, consistent with Heller and McDonald, that the Second and Fourteenth Amendments protect an individual’s right to carry a handgun for self-defense outside the home.”

The court also sided with Gun Owners of America in rejecting the application of a two-part test involving strict or intermediate scrutiny. The Supreme Court adopted the test GOA advocated for, using a text and history approach and barring judges from infringing on the Second Amendment with their own personal opinions and lack of expertise.

Erich Pratt, GOA’s Senior Vice President, issued the following statement:

“This is a tremendous victory for all American gun owners who cherish their God-given right to protect themselves and their families. At GOA, we proudly fight to overturn restrictive gun laws, and we are excited to see may-issue concealed carry laws permanently relegated to the history books. After all, allowing the government to decide which citizens are permitted to carry a firearm outside the home downgrades our God-given rights to mere privileges. This is why the Second Amendment says our right to keep and bear firearms ‘shall not be infringed’!”

Honestly, I couldn’t agree with Pratt more. This is a huge victory. It also paves the way for still more gun rights efforts in the courts moving forward.

Even if it doesn’t, though, putting an end to may-issue licensing is a huge win for all Americans. No longer will they be subjected to having to justify their desire to exercise a quintessential, constitutionally protected right.

Several years ago, I talked to a reader from New Jersey who lamented that he was unable to get a permit at all. “Self-defense” and “Second Amendment” weren’t considered good enough causes to get a carry permit.

As GOA notes, those days are history.

Of course, the fight is far from over, as I’m sure everyone at GOA agrees. There are a lot of battles to be waged if we’re going to have a shot at regaining our rights. However, the groundwork has been laid for any number of additional lawsuits to repeal infringements on our right to keep and bear arms. That’s huge.

It’ll be a while until we see just how narrow or broad the ramifications of this decision will actually be, but gun rights groups who took part in this deserve their victory lap. Frankly, we in the gun rights community needed some good news.