WASHINGTON (The Hill) — The Supreme Court struck down a New York law Thursday that made it difficult to obtain a permit to carry a handgun outside the home, marking a major expansion of Second Amendment rights. The 6-3 decision calls into question similar restrictions in a number of other states across the US that give licensing authorities wide discretion over whether to provide applicants with permits to carry handguns.
Here are the states that could be affected:
The West Coast state, which has the strictest gun laws of any state in the country, is a may-issue state in regards to gun permits based on an applicant’s need and suitability, according to the United States Concealed Carry Association. Any California resident who has not previously reported ownership of a firearm is considered a “personal firearm importer” and must either send a report to the Department of Justice detailing their firearm or transfer the firearm to a licensed dealer or police department.
Concealed carry is only legal in the state with a California concealed carry weapons license, and state residents must be at least 18 years old to obtain the license. However, the licensing authority has the power to require applicants to be older than 18 if they so choose. California also does not recognize any concealed carry permits from other states.
Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) committed in the aftermath of the Uvalde, Texas, elementary school shooting last month to sign a package that imposed restrictions on the sale of firearms to minors as well as ghost guns, or unlicensed kits to build firearms.
Massachusetts is a may-issue state that requires a license to purchase a firearm, which is issued through the State Police Firearms Record Bureau. Residents must complete a state-approved firearms training course to obtain a license.
Concealed carry is legal in the state for individuals who have a license and are 21 or older but is prohibited in certain areas like schools and airports. Massachusetts does not recognize permits from other states.
Connecticut, another may-issue state, gives local law enforcement discretion over whether to issue a permit to carry a handgun based on the applicant’s suitability. The suitability requirement applies to applicants seeking new permits as well as those updating existing permits.
Connecticut residents must have a state pistol permit to purchase a handgun, and concealed carry is legal for those who have the permit. The minimum age for concealed carry is 21, and certain areas including schools and state parks are off-limits. Connecticut does not honor permits from other states and requires a state-approved training course for those attempting to obtain a license.
The Garden State, which Everytown ranked as having the lowest rate of firearm ownership in the US, is a may-issue state that gives law enforcement discretion over whether to issue a concealed weapons permit to an applicant. Applicants are required to obtain approval from their local police chief and then present their application to a superior court judge.
Gun purchases by New Jersey residents must go through a state-licensed dealer or a private resident of the state, both of which require the purchase permit to be sent to the New Jersey Police Firearms Investigations Unit. Concealed carry is only legal with a New Jersey handgun permits, and the state does not honor permits from other states.
Concealed carry is legal in Delaware for residents with a license to carry, though a license is not required to purchase firearms in the state. Those hoping to obtain a permit must complete a firearms training course as well as five references from residents of their country. Applicants must also publish their application in a local newspaper 10 days before submitting their application.
Maryland, another may-issue state, allows the issuing authority to use discretion in regards to issuing permits. Issuing authorities are only required to issue handgun permits if an investigation finds that the application has not demonstrated a propensity for violence and has substantial reason to carry or transport a handgun.
A permit is required for those hoping to purchase a handgun. Private firearms sellers must process purchases through a licensed dealer or law enforcement agency. Concealed carry is legal in Maryland only for permit holders, who must be at least 21 years old.