Heritage Expert: Government Can’t Hold Americans’ Right of Self-Defense Hostage

Heritage Expert: Government Can’t Hold Americans’ Right of Self-Defense Hostage

Jun 23, 2022 1 min read

WASHINGTON—Today, the U.S. Supreme Court correctly held that New Yorkers have a Second Amendment right to carry firearms in public places for self-defense, which the state violated by requiring residents to “sufficiently” justify their exercise of this constitutional right. Amy Swearer, legal fellow at The Heritage Foundation, released the following statement Thursday in response to the decision: 

“This is a good day for the sanctity of the Constitution, the integrity of the court, and the personal safety of all Americans who choose to protect themselves with firearms. The Second Amendment is grounded in the natural right of self-defense, including individual self-defense against criminals, and protects a right both to keep and to bear arms for that purpose.

  

“The Supreme Court has finally and definitively affirmed that states like New York cannot treat this fundamental right as a special privilege for the select few. A person’s constitutional right to armed self-defense does not disappear when he or she walks out the front door. Law-abiding citizens are not required to show some ‘special need’ to exercise their rights in public, nor must they beg government officials for permission to do so. This is especially true given the current unprecedented spikes in violent crime often taking place in jurisdictions that not only deny Americans their right to self-defense, but also boast failed criminal justice policies that routinely place law-abiding citizens in grave danger. 

 

“New York and states with similar laws must finally give up their government monopolies on armed self-defense in public and ensure that their tens of millions of citizens truly have the right to exercise their Second Amendment rights outside the home.”   

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