On June 23, the U.S. Supreme Court eased restrictions on carrying firearms in public, continuing a trend by the court in recent years of weakening gun restrictions, according to Yahoo! News.
The court's conservative majority ruled six to three (with a ruling written by Justice Clarence Thomas) that New York could not prohibit gun owners from carrying their handgun outside their home based on the state's determination that the citizen lacked sufficient cause to fear for their own safety.
The case of New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen was based in a lawsuit brought by two New York men who challenged a state law that requires them to have a "proper cause," or special need, in order to carry a firearm outside their home. The ruling will have a ripple effect for other states with similar restrictions, such as California, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, Connecticut and New Jersey.
LGBTQ+ organizations were among those who responded to the court's decision. Lambda Legal Counsel Omar Gonzalez-Pagan said in a statement, "It is unconscionable and dangerous for the Supreme Court to strike down a reasonable gun law regulating the ability to conceal carry firearms, such as New York State's law, as the country staggers from yet multiple mass shooting such as the one in Uvalde, Texas that claimed the lives of 19 elementary schoolchildren and the one in Buffalo that was motivated by racial hatred.
"The LGBTQ community is sadly too familiar with the costs of gun violencebeing disproportionately targeted because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. The Pulse nightclub massacre of six years ago is perhaps one of the most indelible and horrific examples, but all too frequently, LGBTQ people, particularly those of color and especially transgender women of color, are the victims of gun violence."
In addition, National LGBTQ Task Force Policy Director Liz Seaton said in a separate release, "For all who care about ending hate violence and gun violence, today the Supreme Court issued a devastating ruling in the case of New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen. The case is about enforcing reasonable gun regulations adopted by the State of New York that required a person to show proper cause to get a license to carry a concealed handgun by showing a special need for self-protection. Court conservatives reversed the Second Circuit Court's decision and ruled that the U.S. Constitution's Second and Fourteenth Amendments protect people's 'right to keep and bear arms in public for self-defense.'"