Conservatives sound like anti-racists — when the cause is gun rights

Bruen is the Second Amendment case that gun rights advocates have been waiting for. Thirteen years ago, in District of Columbia v. Heller , the court held that the Constitution granted an individual right to possess a gun in the home for self-defense, unrelated to the person’s participation in an organized militia. Now the court is examining when and under what circumstances a person must receive a license to carry a gun for self-defense. At issue is a New York law that requires “proper cause” to obtain a license to carry concealed firearms on the streets — and which deems a mere desire to carry a gun for self-protection insufficient cause. The New York State Rifle & Pistol Association and two individual plaintiffs have challenged New York’s law as a violation of the Second Amendment, and gun rights groups anticipate another major statement from the court in favor of broad Second Amendment rights. The briefing in the case has made for strange alliances. Some Black criminal defense attorneys and public defender organizations, including the Bronx Defenders , filed a brief on behalf of the plaintiffs, pointing out the disparate impact gun regulations have on low-income persons of color. Twenty-one Republican attorneys general , of all people, echoed their race-based arguments. “State legislatures have often fallen short of the mark in defending this right to bear arms in self-defense,” they conceded, pointing to historical bans on carrying arms by free Black citizens in some of their own states. “In the […]

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