This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, October 19, 2022:
In Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas' majority opinion in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc. v. Bruen (aka “Bruen”), decided in June, he wrote:
The constitutional right to bear arms in public for self-defense is not a “second-class right,” subject to an entirely different body of rules than the other bill of rights guarantees.
We know of no other constitutional right that an individual may exercise only after demonstrating to government officers some special need.
The ruling in Bruen was twofold: 1) that New York State's law requiring a citizen to show “proper cause” before being granted the privilege of carrying a concealed weapon was unconstitutional; and 2) that the right to carry a handgun in public is guaranteed by the second amendment.
That ruling has unleashed a tsunami of lawsuits by Second Amendment supporters, to the point where far-left news outlet CNN complained that the decision has “put gun control laws in jeopardy nationwide.” Noted CNN:
In the three months since the 6-3 decision in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc. v. Bruen, scores of new lawsuits have been filed against gun restrictions at the federal, state, and local levels….
Since the June ruling, federal judges in at least a half-dozen different cases have already cited the Bruen decision to rule against gun restrictions that have included local assault weapons bans, prohibitions on the manufacture of homemade firearms and bans on older teenagers publicly carrying handguns.
The outlet noted with chagrin that a federal district judge in Delaware declared that state's ban on “ghost guns” (guns that are made at home without serial numbers) not valid under the high court's ruling. In addition, reported the network, assault weapons bans inflicted on Coloradans in two local jurisdictions were placed on hold, and Texas' public-carry ban on individuals aged 18 to 20 was struck down as well.
CNN failed to note, probably by design, that many other rulings following the Bruen decision have begun to restore the Second Amendment to its rightful place in the Bill of Rights.
Here is just a partial list of Second Amendment victories scored since Bruen:
- To avoid going to trial over its ban preventing concealed carry licensees from carrying more than 20 rounds of ammunition, the chief of Washington, D.C.'s Metropolitan Police Department repealed the ban in September.
- The Supreme Court, following its Bruen precedent, tossed Massachusetts' lifetime ban on anyone convicted of a nonviolent misdemeanor involving the possession or use of a firearm from ever being able to purchase a firearm in the future.
- The Attorneys general of New Jersey, California, and Hawaii concluded that, based on Bruen, a citizen no longer must show a “justifiable need” to carry a firearm.
Second Amendment scholar and attorney Dave Workman listed other targets for lawsuits following the Bruen decision, including Illinois, which requires citizens to have a Firearm Owner's Identification (FOID) card in order to purchase a firearm or ammunition. New Jersey has a similar law, as do North Carolina, Minnesota, Nebraska, Hawaii, Michigan, Maryland, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island.
There is a case pending in the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals — Dominic Bianchi v. Brian Frosh — challenging Maryland's ban on semi-automatic rifles. Attorneys general from 25 states have filed an amicus (friendly) brief supporting the case, which was brought immediately after the Bruen decision by the Second Amendment Foundation and the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms.
Workman estimates there are some 20,000 to 25,000 restrictive gun laws in the United States. If he is anywhere close to right, the rising tide of lawsuits is likely just the beginning.