ALBANY, N.Y. — Republicans and gun lobbyists applauded the U.S. Supreme Court Thursday for striking down a longstanding New York law restricting the carrying of concealed firearms, calling it a win for gun owners in the Empire State.
The 6-3 decision drew praise from GOP gubernatorial candidates and party officials alike as they slammed Democratic rivals who immediately called for legislative action in response to the overturning of the century-old statute.
“The Supreme Court’s decision marks a historic, proper and necessary victory for law abiding citizens of New York, whose Second Amendment rights have been under constant attack,” said a statement from Rep. Lee Zeldin, R-N.Y., the leading Republican candidate for governor.
The decision reaffirms New Yorkers’ “inherent right to safely and securely carry to protect themselves, their families and their loved ones, and the principle that this constitutional right shall not be infringed.”
The nation’s highest court ruled in favor of the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, an affiliate of the National Rifle Association, which argued in a lawsuit that New York’s restrictive process for granting permits to carry concealed handguns in public infringed upon gun owners’ Second Amendment rights.
State GOP party chairman and upstate congressional candidate Nick Langworthy said the decision was “a ruling for the people over the politicians.”
“Democrats have no problem with releasing violent criminals onto our streets, but they want to restrict the rights of law-abiding gun owners,” he said. “This is the insanity we are fighting against, and while this is an important victory, we must take our fight all the way to November.”
Andrew Giuliani, the son of former mayor Rudy Giuliani and a Republican candidate for governor, said the court “protected the rights of law-abiding New Yorkers to protect themselves.”
“The answer to violent crime lies in empowering law enforcement and NOT infringing on our rights as Americans,” he added.
Earlier in the day, Gov. Hochul, a Democrat who recently signed several new gun-related laws in response to a mass shooting in Buffalo that left 10 dead, said she expects the Dem-led state Legislature to return to Albany within the next month to address the issue.
“I will say we are not powerless in this situation,” the governor said. “We’re not going to cede our rights that easily. Despite the best efforts of the politicized Supreme Court of the United States of America, we have the power of the pen.”
A recent Siena College poll found that 79% of New Yorkers wanted to see the Supreme Court uphold the decadesold concealed-carry law.
The NRA has been fighting for decades against regulations in “may-carry” states like New York where laws restrict who is awarded concealed-carry licenses.
“This is another landmark win for constitutional freedom and the NRA,” said Wayne LaPierre, the gun rights lobbying group’s executive vice president. ”This decision unequivocally validates the position of the NRA and should put lawmakers on notice: No law should be passed that impinges this individual freedom.”