Since SCOTUS Made It Easier to Throw Out
Anti-Gun Laws, Which Might Be Next to Go?

Fibonacci Blue/Wikimedia Commons/CC by 2.0

By Cody Wisniewski. Aug 8, 2022

The Supreme Court changed how gun laws
across the country are viewed by applying a
traditional understanding of the Second

The Supreme Court's landmark decision in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen did a lot more than just strike down New York state's concealed carry law. It changed the legal landscape for gun laws across the country. With that change, many 'gun control laws' are now on life support. But the real question is — which ones are doomed?

At the end of June, the Supreme Court ruled in Bruen that it was unconstitutional for the state of New York to require individuals to demonstrate a "proper cause" for needing to carry a firearm in public. Beyond just striking down the law, however, the Supreme Court also fundamentally altered the way lower courts across the nation review Second Amendment challenges.

For over a decade, most federal courts have used a two-step test to evaluate Second Amendment cases. In step one, courts would determine whether the regulated practice was protected by the Second Amendment. If so, courts would proceed to step two and "balance" the right against the government's purported interest in regulating the practice. This resulted in many courts upholding nearly every 'gun control' regulation.

And for that same span, gun rights groups have argued the two-step test doesn't follow the Supreme Court's landmark 2008 decision in D.C. v. Heller. The Heller opinion not only explicitly prohibited interest balancing but laid out a clear methodology, based on text and history, to analyze Second Amendment cases. The Supreme Court's Bruen opinion agrees. .....


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