by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Blue states are pursuing new gun control measures in the wake of a Supreme Court decision this year that upended the way courts may look at gun laws in the future.
In New Jersey, lawmakers in the state are advancing a bill that would severely restrict where lawful gun owners could carry their firearms with a permit that, under the new law, would cost significantly more money to obtain.
In Illinois, lawmakers on Monday debated a proposal that would ban assault-style weapons, outlaw higher capacity magazines, and raise the minimum age for gun ownership from 18 to 21 years old.
And in Oregon, state officials are fighting to implement a measure approved last month by voters that would place additional requirements on residents looking to purchase a gun.
The changes come as states adjust to new limits on gun restrictions in the aftermath of the June Supreme Court decision in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen.
A majority of justices ruled in the Bruen case that New York’s concealed carry permitting system was unconstitutional because it forced applicants to demonstrate that they had “proper cause” — beyond just a desire to carry their legally owned firearms — to deserve a permit.
Writing for the majority opinion, Justice Clarence Thomas noted that he knew of “no other constitutional right that an individual may exercise only after demonstrating to government officers some special need.”
That left some states, such as New Jersey, concerned that their existing laws may suffer the same fate as New York’s and spurred lawmakers to consider other ways to sidestep the framework established in the case.
“They know they’re getting laws struck down, so they’re trying to pass laws to get around it, and their problem is, all these laws they’re passing are more restrictive,” Alan Gottlieb, founder of the Second Amendment Foundation, told the Washington Examiner.