View the official New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc. v. Bruen opinion of the US Supreme Court here.

New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc. v. Bruen Synopsis


Applicants who sought unrestricted licenses to carry a handgun in public, together with public-interest group organized to defend the Second Amendment rights of New Yorkers, brought § 1983 action for declaratory and injunctive relief against the superintendent of the New York State Police and an individual licensing officer, alleging the denial of the license applications for failing to satisfy New York's “proper cause” standard, under which the applicants had to demonstrate a special need for self-protection distinguishable from that of the general community, violated the applicants' Second and Fourteenth Amendment rights. The United States District Court for the Northern District of New York, Brenda K. Sannes, J., 354 F.Supp.3d 143, granted defendants' motion to dismiss, and plaintiffs appealed. The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, 818 Fed.Appx. 99, affirmed. Certiorari was granted.


  1. The Second and Fourteenth Amendments protect an individual's right to carry a handgun for self-defense outside the home
  2. Means-end scrutiny, such as strict or intermediate scrutiny, does not apply in the Second Amendment context, abrogating Harley v. Wilkinson, 988 F. 3d 766, Libertarian Party of Erie County v. Cuomo, 970 F.3d 106, Worman v. Healey, 922 F.3d 26, Kanter v. Barr, 919 F.3d 437, Association of New Jersey Rifle and Pistol Clubs, Inc. v. Attorney General New Jersey, 910 F.3d 106, Kolbe v. Hogan, 849 F. 3d 114, National Rifle Ass'n of America, Inc. v. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, 700 F.3d 185, and other case
  3. New York's “proper cause” standard could not be justified under Second and Fourteenth Amendments as a law respecting a “sensitive-place,” such as a school or government building; and [4] New York's “proper cause” standard violates Fourteenth Amendment by preventing law-abiding citizens with ordinary selfdefense needs from exercising their Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms, abrogating Young v. Hawaii, 992 F.3d 765, Gould v. Morgan, 907 F.3d 659, Drake v. Filko, 724 F.3d 426, Kachalsky v. County of Westchester, 701 F.3d 81, U.S. v. Masciandaro, 638 F.3d 458.

Reversed and Remanded

  • Justice Alito filed a concurring opinion.
  • Justice Kavanaugh filed a concurring opinion, in which Chief Justice Roberts joined.
  • Justice Barrett filed a concurring opinion
  • Justice Breyer filed a dissenting opinion, in which Justice Sotomayor and Justice Kagan joined.

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