Justice Department opposes Supreme Court gun ruling that expands Second Amendment rights

Justice Department opposes Supreme Court gun ruling that expands Second Amendment rights
Supporters of gun control hold signs in front of supporters of gun rights during a demonstration by victims of gun violence in front of the Supreme Court as arguments begin in a major case on gun rights on November 3, 2021.Joshua Roberts/Getty Images
  • The DOJ disagreed with the Supreme Court's decision to strike down a century-old New York gun law.
  • The Supreme Court on Thursday expanded Second Amendment rights to carrying a gun outside the home.

The Department of Justice on Thursday opposed the Supreme Court's decision to expand gun rights in a major Second Amendment case.

The court's 6-3 conservative majority struck down a century-old New York gun-permit law as unconstitutional, declaring that Americans have the right to carry a gun outside the home for self-defense purposes. The New York rule required people who seek a license to carry a gun outside the home to demonstrate a "proper cause," or a special reason, to do so.

"We respectfully disagree with the Court's conclusion that the Second Amendment forbids New York's reasonable requirement that individuals seeking to carry a concealed handgun must show that they need to do so for self-defense," the DOJ said in a statement after the ruling came down.

"The Department of Justice remains committed to saving innocent lives by enforcing and defending federal firearms laws, partnering with state, local and tribal authorities and using all legally available tools to tackle the epidemic of gun violence plaguing our communities," the statement continued.

Since President Joe Biden took office, his administration has prioritized tackling gun violence and has taken executive action to respond to the issue. The DOJ has previously been tasked to help curb the spread of "ghost guns," which are firearms without serial numbers that can be self-assembled at home, and to assist states with drafting "red flag" laws, which allow authorities to temporarily confiscate firearms from individuals deemed to pose a threat, among other gun-safety measures.


The Supreme Court decision comes as the US has witnessed a recent spate of deadly mass shootings. After years of inaction, congressional Republicans and Democrats are currently working on a bipartisan bill to strengthen gun laws in response to the violence.

The Supreme Court ruling is expected to bring more guns into public spaces, alarming gun-safety advocates and Democrats, who condemned the decision on Thursday.

Some Republicans have celebrated the ruling as a victory for gun rights. The head of the National Rifle Association praised the decision as "a watershed win for good men and women all across America and is the result of a decades-long fight the NRA has led."