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On Thursday, the Supreme Court of the United States struck down a New York state law which had prohibited applicants from receiving a concealed weapons permit without first demonstrating “proper cause.” Vice President Kamala Harris has since responded to the ruling, saying that it “defies common sense and the Constitution of the United States.”
In her opening remarks to a convocation of state attorneys general, Harris, a former AG of California, stated that she and President Biden “are deeply concerned and troubled by the Supreme Court’s ruling,” which she also claimed “defies logic.”
Later in the speech, Harris reiterated the singular role that state AGs play in securing “fundamental rights and freedoms” and identified abortion as an example of a “right” that is currently in dire need of protection.
About the attorneys general in the audience, Harris said, “We are specifically going to talk about an extension of their responsibilities which has to do with the responsibility to concern themselves with the priority of ensuring the health, safety, and well-being of the women in their state and the protection of their reproductive rights and freedoms.”
The language and tone she used in her discussion of abortion contrasted starkly with the language and tone she used in her discussion of the SCOTUS decision. She even seemed to express frustration that the Supreme Court affirmed the Second Amendment for the people.
After referencing the massacre in Buffalo, New York, and in Uvalde, Texas, Harris said, “We can go on down the list about why it, yet again, is on the front pages, so to speak, of the concerns of the American people about what we can and what we have a responsibility to do in terms of reasonable gun safety laws.”
SCOTUS did not agree that the New York state gun law requiring “proper cause” to be a “reasonable gun safety law.”
“We know of no other constitutional right that an individual may exercise only after demonstrating to government officers some special need,” Justice Clarence Thomas wrote on behalf of the majority. “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.”
Supporters of the 6-3 decision claim it’s the most important Second Amendment ruling since the District of Columbia v. Heller court case a decade ago.