The Second Amendment (Part 8)

by | Aug 10, 2022 | Blog, Criminal Law, Monmouth County, New Jersey, Ocean County

Justice Thomas concluded with the following in relevant part: Finally, these territorial restrictions deserve little weight because they were, consistent with the transitory nature of territorial government, short lived. Some were held unconstitutional shortly after passage, and others did not survive a Territory’s admission to the Union as a State.

After reviewing the Anglo-American history of public carry, the Court concludes that respondents have not met their burden to identify an American tradition justifying New York’s proper-cause requirement. Apart from a few late-19th-century outlier jurisdictions, American governments simply have not broadly prohibited the public carry of commonly used firearms for personal defense. Nor have they generally required law-abiding, responsible citizens to “demonstrate a special need for self-protection distinguishable from that of the general community” to carry arms in public. Klenosky, 75 App. Div. 2d, at 793, 428 N. Y. S. 2d, at 257. P. 62.

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.” McDonald, 561 U. S., at 780 (plurality opinion). The exercise of other constitutional rights does not require individuals to demonstrate to government officers some special need. The Second Amendment right to carry arms in public for self-defense is no different. New York’s proper-cause requirement violates the Fourteenth Amendment by preventing law-abiding citizens with ordinary self-defense needs from exercising their right to keep and bear arms in public.

A refreshing upside to this opinion is that it does err on the side of protecting individual rights. For too long, our Government has not been a government “by the people and for the people” as it was intended to be. Instead, Government has functioned as an over-class that is not accountable to the people. A case in point is that since around 2002 the Government has been harvesting and collecting a great  of Americans’ emails, texts, and other private communications without any reasonable suspicion or probable cause.