Fin out how this will affect you.
On Thursday, June 23, the Supreme Court published a majority opinion regarding the Second Amendment. In a 6-3 ruling, the Supreme Court Justices reinforced firearm possession as a constitutional right and limited the government’s ability to impose gun restrictions. In the ruling, Justice Thomas delivered the following opinion:
“In District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U. S. 570 (2008), and McDonald v. Chicago, 561 U. S. 742 (2010), we recognized that the Second and Fourteenth Amendments protect the right of an ordinary, law-abiding citizen to possess a handgun in the home for self-defense. In this case, petitioners and respondents agree that ordinary, law-abiding citizens have a similar right to carry handguns publicly for their self-defense. 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 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. That is not how the First Amendment works when it comes to unpopular speech or the free exercise of religion. It is not how the Sixth Amendment works when it comes to a defendant’s right to confront the witnesses against him. And it is not how the Second Amendment works when it comes to public carry for self-defense. New York’s proper-cause requirement violates the Fourteenth Amendment in that it prevents law-abiding citizens with ordinary self-defense needs from exercising their right to keep and bear arms. We therefore reverse the judgment of the Court of Appeals and remand the case for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.”
This major decision has solidified Americans’ rights to bear arms as spelled out in the Bill of Rights. Previously, a lower court in New York decided that the Constitution only protected the right to have a gun in your house for self-defense. With this latest case, the Supreme Court has ruled that the 2nd Amendment protects Americans’ right to carry a handgun in public for self-defense.
Moving forward, if states wish to impose regulations on gun control, they will need to ensure the regulations are historically consistent with the Second Amendment. That means that when judges look at modern gun regulations, they’ll have to determine whether an earlier, reasonably similar law was already passed in the country’s history. In the past, courts could also consider whether a regulation could be justified for other reasons. With this new ruling in place, that will no longer be permitted.
While some restrictions will become more difficult to pass, NBC notes “the ruling does not bar states from imposing licensing requirements for carrying handguns for self-defense, such as fingerprinting, background checks and mental health records checks.”
New Mexico is already a shall-issue state, meaning that applicants won’t be denied a firearm as long as they meet all licensing requirements. Therefore, we likely won’t see many (or any) changes in the Land of Enchantment. One thing we can be sure of: the new SCOTUS ruling will prevent New Mexico from becoming a may-issue state.
At Calibers, we encourage everyone to continue practicing their Second Amendment right safely and provide all levels of concealed Carry Courses to help you do just that. Sign up for one of our New Mexico Concealed Carry Courses today.