Justice Department files brief in support of restrictive New York gun law

President Joe Biden came into office with a clear objective of implementing new gun control measures wherever possible.

That mission was on display earlier this month when the Biden administration filed a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court siding defending state laws restricting the right to carry concealed firearms.

“Proper cause”

The National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action called attention to the court action in a report citing the Department of Justice’s legal filing.

According to the Sept. 21 brief, the Justice Department supports New York in its effort to defend a law being challenged in court as an infringement on the Second Amendment.

The superintendent of the New York State Police challenges the state’s imposition of a “may issue” concealed carry license system in which applicants must prove they have “proper cause” to carry a concealed firearm in order to obtain a license.

In its role, the Supreme Court is tasked with determining whether “the Second Amendment allows the government to prohibit ordinary law-abiding citizens from carrying handguns outside the home for self-defense.”

For its part, the Justice Department argues that the Constitution allows for governments to institute such prohibitions, as explained in a 42-page amicus brief filed in support of the state law.

“Text, history, and tradition”

The filing first asserted that the Second Amendment is not “absolute” and immune to any restrictions, provided such a restriction is “reasonable” and served to further a compelling state interest — such as keeping the general public safe from violent crime.

As the Justice Department went on to contend, there have been “longstanding” weapons prohibitions to some degree dating back to at least medieval England.

It further argued that the Supreme Court should be constrained to abide by the “text, history, and tradition” of the Second Amendment and applicable restrictions thereof before considering whether challenged laws are “reasonable” and should be upheld.

As the NRA-ILA explained, the Biden administration’s default stance is that ordinary citizens should be presumptively denied the right to bear arms unless they can present a good reason for doing so.

Of course, this transfers an inalienable right to a privilege that can be extended or withdrawn at any time.

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