On Thursday, the Supreme Court struck down New York’s strict “may-issue” gun law in a ruling that will impact at least six other states that also have such egregious laws in place.

I could say that “gun-control advocates are up in arms,” but they hate guns. Instead, they are claiming this expansion of freedom will lead to increased crime. The predictable refrain of “blood in the streets” is being shouted once again … even though it has never come to pass. New York City Mayor Eric Adams said, “We cannot allow New York to become the Wild West.”

Unfortunately, New York City wasn’t far off from the Wild West, even with its strict gun laws. Though it had some of the toughest gun laws in the nation, the city still suffered from violent crime. Now, however, good people will have the chance to fight back. This ruling will allow the ordinary citizens of New York to get permits that are currently reserved only for the rich, famous or well-connected. Until now, self-defense and concealed carry in New York has been only for an exclusive club.

What the Supreme Court Ruling Achieves

What Thursday’s ruling really does is right the historic wrong of racially motivated gun-control efforts that created a permitting process designed to prevent certain groups from owning or carrying guns. President Biden said today he was disappointed and claimed states have, “for centuries,” controlled who could carry guns. He’s wrong about that. The truth about gun control is that it was racially motivated. The first real efforts at gun control sprang up during Reconstruction.

Following the Civil War, southern Democrats were afraid newly freed slaves would arm themselves. As a result, lawmakers began instituting laws requiring local sheriffs to issue permits to carry guns. Back then, all the sheriffs were white and would, of course, never issue a permit to a person of color, even if that person could afford to pay the fee.

So Thursday’s ruling strikes at the racist heart of all gun control: the idea that a government agency can make you prove that you deserve to be allowed to defend yourself. 

The Second Amendment is for everyone. This ruling wipes away more than 150 years of racially motivated government control over the right of the people to keep and bear arms. No government agent should get to decide if your life is worth protecting. We always knew that may-issue laws were unconstitutional, arbitrary and unequally applied. Now the Supreme Court has made it clear that the freedoms protected by the Bill of Rights are to be enjoyed by all citizens, not just those with the political clout to buy the right to carry a gun.