On June 23rd, 2022 the Supreme Court decided the landmark gun rights case New York State Rifle and Pistol Association Inc. v. Bruen. The case, widely seen as a win for advocates of personal gun rights, fundamentally altered the test that courts use to evaluate constitutionality under the 2nd Amendment and expanded gun rights outside of the home. Prof. Joseph Blocher of Duke Law School explains how Bruen fits into the evolving Second Amendment doctrine.
In Bruen, Justice Thomas writing for the majority knocks down New York's concealed carry law and along with it calls into question laws in other states where significant discretion is given to the state in determining whether they may issue a permit. As Prof. Blocher explains, the case replaces the two-part Second Amendment test previously used by the nation's circuit courts of appeals in favor of a new test focused on historical tradition – the text, history, and tradition test. After analysis of the decision of the court as well as the concurring and dissenting opinions in the case, Blocher explores the impact of Bruen on laws and individuals across the nation.
NYSRPA v. Bruen
Additional Cases Discussed
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
–Second Amendment to the United States Constitution