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Lankford Applauds Supreme Court Decision Upholding Second Amendment

WASHINGTON, DC – Senator James Lankford (R-OK) applauded the victory for the Constitution today after the Supreme Court issued a 6-3 decision written by Justice Thomas in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. Bruen, which held that “New York’s proper-cause requirement violates the Fourteenth Amendment by preventing law-abiding citizens with ordinary self-defense needs from exercising their right to keep and bear arms in public:”

“Today’s ruling by the Supreme Court in Bruen is a another victory for our Constitution and law-abiding gun owners,” said Lankford. “New York’s law clearly violates the Second Amendment by requiring citizens to ask permission from government officials and show ‘proper-cause’ to carry a firearm. Justice Thomas points out in the Court’s opinion that the Second Amendment does not differentiate between a person at home or a person in public regarding the right to keep and bear arms, and I’m glad the Supreme Court affirmed that again today.”

In his opinion, Justice Thomas wrote, “We reiterate that the standard for applying the Second Amendment is as follows: When the Second Amendment’s plain text covers an individual’s conduct, the Constitution presumptively protects that conduct. The government must then justify its regulation by demonstrating that it is consistent with the Nation’s historical tradition of firearm regulation.” This standard is consistent with how our country protects other constitutional rights, like the First Amendment right to free speech.

Lankford signed on to an amicus brief for the case with 24 Republican senators to argue that New York’s law violates the Second Amendment’s guarantee of the right to bear arms. The brief emphasized that by including an individual’s right to bear arms in the Constitution, the Framers removed from state and federal legislators the ability to second guess that choice.

Lankford remains a staunch Second Amendment advocate. In April, Lankford introduced the Pistol Brace Protection Act, which would gut an upcoming final rule by the ATF by exempting pistol braces from regulation under the National Firearms Act (NFA). The bill eliminates subjective standards that exist in federal law that have allowed ATF to reclassify firearms under the NFA, and guarantees that law-abiding gun owners will not have to register, destroy, or surrender their pistol brace.

Lankford continues to stand up for Oklahomans’ Second Amendment rights by calling on ATF to provide answers on their recent actions that prevent law-abiding citizens from creating and owning sound suppressors. Lankford recently joined a letter to ATF expressing concern over their use of secret internal guidance to push new regulations. This secret guidance has been used to justify the seizure of lawfully owned property, which is unacceptable and not in accordance with the Constitution.