Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

A man shows a gun holdster

A man shows a gun holster at a concealed-carry permit class on December 19, 2015 in Provo, Utah. (Photo: George Frey/Getty Images)

'Devastating': Supreme Court Blows Massive Hole in State Gun Control Efforts

"This goes so, so far beyond concealed carry," wrote one court reporter. "The Supreme Court has effectively rendered gun restrictions presumptively unconstitutional."

Jake Johnson

In a decision with sweeping and grave implications for gun control laws across the country, the right-wing U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday struck down New York state's restrictions on the concealed carry of firearms in public.

Slate legal reporter Mark Joseph Stern warned that the high court's 6-3 decision—penned by Justice Clarence Thomas—"goes so, so far beyond concealed carry."

"It's difficult to overstate how devastating Thomas' opinion is for gun control laws," Stern wrote. "The Supreme Court has effectively rendered gun restrictions presumptively unconstitutional. This is a revolution in Second Amendment law."

The ruling in the case, officially titled New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. Bruen, comes in the wake of horrific mass shootings in Uvalde, Texas and Buffalo, New York.

The now-invalidated, century-old New York law required applicants for a concealed carry permit to demonstrate "proper cause" and "good moral character" before gaining state approval. The Supreme Court's right-wing majority deemed those requirements a violation of the Second Amendment.

Several other states—including California, Hawaii, Maryland, and Massachusetts—have similar laws.

"This is devastating," Democratic New York State Sen. Alessandra Biaggi tweeted in response to the ruling. "Expand the Supreme Court."

The North Carolina Justice Center said in a statement that the court's decision "is deeply historically flawed, staggeringly tone-deaf, and will sadly only lead to more violence in this country." 

"We condemn the ruling in the case," the group added, "which will have profound implications on efforts to enact meaningful gun legislation that could prevent the daily occurrences of mass shootings in the United States. We are neither safer nor freer because of this ruling."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

70+ Lawmakers Tell Biden 'You Can and You Must' Provide Rail Workers Paid Sick Leave

"As president, you and your administration have a number of tools at your disposal to make sure rail workers are guaranteed paid sick leave," wrote the lawmakers.

Julia Conley ·


COP15 Biodiversity Summit Highlights 'Deadly' US Attitude Toward the World

"While others play by the rules, the most powerful nation refuses," writes George Monbiot. "If this country were a person, we'd call it a psychopath. As it is not a person, we should call it what it is: a rogue state."

Jessica Corbett ·


Final House Covid Panel Report Exposes 'Reckless' Trump Pandemic Response

The publication accuses top Trump officials of "failed stewardship" and a "persistent pattern of political interference" that undermined the nation's response to a pandemic that has killed more than a million people in the United States.

Brett Wilkins ·


As NYT Staffers Strike, Sanders Calls for 'New Ways to Empower' Workers Battling Industry Giants

"We need to rebuild and protect a diverse and truly independent press so that real journalists and media workers can do the critical jobs that they love, and that a functioning democracy requires," said the Vermont progressive.

Kenny Stancil ·


House Report on Big Oil Greenwashing Shows 'Big Tobacco Playbook All Over Again'

"These companies know their climate pledges are inadequate, but are prioritizing Big Oil's record profits over the human costs of climate change," said Rep. Carolyn Maloney.

Julia Conley ·

Common Dreams Logo