WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 23, 2022) – The Supreme Court of the United States held today that the Second and Fourteenth Amendments protect the right to carry firearms in public in the Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC)-supported case, NYSRPA v. Bruen. The opinion, along with the two supporting briefs FPC filed last year, can be found at FPCLaw.org.
The 6-3 majority opinion, authored by Justice Clarence Thomas and joined by Justices Alito, Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, Barrett, and Chief Justice Roberts, was notable in a number of important ways:
- The Court expressly rejected the “two-step” approach often employed by lower courts since the McDonald v. Chicago decision in 2010, saying that the Constitution “demands a test rooted in the Second Amendment’s text, as informed by history.”
- The Court expressly held that “when the Second Amendment’s plain text covers an individual’s conduct, the Constitution presumptively protects that conduct.”
- Quoting the McDonald plurality opinion, the Court held that: “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.”
- The Court said that: “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.”
- Ultimately, the Court held that: “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.”
“The Court’s opinion in this FPC-supported case is a monumental step forward for natural rights and individual liberty. FPC Law will soon be filing many more important strategic lawsuits, adding to our dozens of active cases across the United States on key issues from restrictions on the right to carry in public to bans on self-manufacturing firearms and so-called ‘assault weapons’ and ‘large-capacity’ magazines. We know that authoritarian governments and officials will do everything they can to circumvent the Constitution and attack the human right to keep and bear arms, but we will punch back twice as hard. We are eager to fight forward for the People and continue our work to create a world of maximal human liberty,” said FPC founder and President Brandon Combs.
“Bruen is a major win for the People and for the liberties our Constitution was designed to protect. Not only did the Court confirm that peaceable people have the right to armed defense outside the home, but it denounced the ‘interest-balancing’ test that lower courts have used to justify dozens of unconstitutional laws over the last decade. Today’s decision will allow FPC Law to press our current cases and to challenge many laws that were upheld in prior cases, potentially allowing many of the freedoms lost to be restored in the years to come,” said FPC Law’s Director of Constitutional Studies Joseph Greenlee, whose work was cited favorably in the Court’s opinion.
Important briefs filed in support of the petitioners include:
- Brief of the Firearms Policy Coalition and Professor Joyce Lee Malcolm
- Brief of Professors of Second Amendment Law, Weld County, Colorado, Weld County Sheriff Steve Reams, Independence Institute, and [FPC Action] Foundation
- Brief of California Gun Rights Foundation
- Brief of William English, Ph.D. and The Center For Human Liberty
- Brief of FPC American Victory Fund, et al.
- Brief of Madison Society Foundation, Inc.
Individuals who would like to Join the FPC Grassroots Army and support important pro-rights lawsuits and programs can sign up at JoinFPC.org. Individuals and organizations can make a tax-deductible donation to the FPC Action Foundation to support the restoration of the Second Amendment and other natural rights can also. For more on FPC’s lawsuits and other pro-Second Amendment initiatives, visit FPCLegal.org and follow FPC on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube.
Firearms Policy Coalition (firearmspolicy.org), a 501(c)4 nonprofit organization, exists to create a world of maximal human liberty, defend constitutional rights, advance individual liberty, and restore freedom. FPC’s efforts are focused on the Right to Keep and Bear Arms and adjacent issues including freedom of speech, due process, unlawful searches and seizures, separation of powers, asset forfeitures, privacy, encryption, and limited government. The FPC team are next-generation advocates working to achieve the Organization’s strategic objectives through litigation, research, scholarly publications, amicus briefing, legislative and regulatory action, grassroots activism, education, outreach, and other programs. FPC Law (FPCLaw.org) is the nation’s first and largest public interest legal team focused on the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, and the leader in the Second Amendment litigation and research space.