Following the Supreme Court ruling released Thursday that a New York gun-control law that required citizens to show "proper cause" to obtain a concealed carry license is in violation of the Constitution, the Department of Justice took the rare step of issuing a statement on the decision.
"We respectfully disagree with the Court’s conclusion that the Second Amendment forbids New York’s reasonable requirement that individuals seeking to carry a concealed handgun must show that they need to do so for self-defense. The Department of Justice remains committed to saving innocent lives by enforcing and defending federal firearms laws, partnering with state, local and tribal authorities and using all legally available tools to tackle the epidemic of gun violence plaguing our communities."
The DOJ typically does not issue statements that disagreeing with Supreme Court rulings, has no lawful basis or precedent for issuing statements in opposition to Supreme Court rulings, and has no ability in law to challenge constitutional rulings.
The opinion in the case of the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. Bruen, discusses the New York state law that made is a crime to own a firearm without a license, whether that possession was inside the home or external to it. The only way for New Yorkers to obtain an unrestricted permit was to prove that they had "proper cause" to do so. A person had to "demonstrate a special need for self-protection distinguishable from that of the general community.
The vote broke down on party lines, 6-3. Justice Clarence Thomas wrotein the 135 page majority opinion 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."
Democratic lawmakers reacted harshly to the ruling. New York Governor Kathy Hochul tweeted, "It is outrageous that at a moment of national reckoning on gun violence, the Supreme Court has recklessly struck down a New York law that limits those who can carry concealed weapons."
Democratic New York City Mayor Eric Adams condemned the ruling claiming it would "put New Yorkers at further risk of gun violence."