Attorney General James vows to protect New Yorkers in wake of Supreme Court ruling

New York Attorney General Letitia James today released the following statement after the U.S. Supreme Court issued a ruling in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen, overturning New York’s century-old proper cause requirement in its concealed carry gun licensing law, a common-sense law that has allowed New York to fulfill its responsibility to establish its own gun licensing laws and protect residents:

“Today’s decision by the Supreme Court to strike down New York’s proper cause requirement to carry a concealed weapon is incredibly disappointing. For more than a century, this law has protected New Yorkers from harm by ensuring that there are reasonable and appropriate regulations for guns in public spaces.

“The Supreme Court made its decision, but the fight to protect American families from gun violence will march on. In the days to come, my office will be taking action to address the potential harm that this ruling may cause, and we will continue to defend the constitutionality of our state’s laws, as we’ve always done. We will work with the Governor and Legislature to amend our licensing statute that will continue to protect New Yorkers. I want to reassure all New Yorkers that our robust gun protection laws remain intact and we will be working with our partners in government to further strengthen them.


“Make no mistake: This decision will not deter us from standing up to the gun lobby and their repeated efforts to endanger New Yorkers. I vow to use the full force of my office to protect New Yorkers and American families.”

Since 1913, New York law has required individuals to obtain a license to be able to carry a handgun outside their home. In March 2019, the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association (NYSRPA) and two individuals, who had been denied a license, sued New York state in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York, claiming that New York’s concealed carry law infringed upon their Second Amendment rights. The Office of the Attorney General (OAG) successfully defended the law, and the lawsuit was dismissed in March 2018 and then again affirmed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. The plaintiffs then petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to review the case, which Solicitor General Barbara D. Underwood argued on behalf of the state of New York in November 2021.


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