Clarence Thomas: Second Amendment Protects ‘Individual’s Right’ to Carry Gun for Self-Defense

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has declared that the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution “protect[s] the right” of individuals to carry a gun for self-defense while inside or outside their home.

The Second Amendment protects an “individual’s right to carry a handgun for self-defense outside the home,” Justice Thomas wrote in the majority opinion for the SCOTUS’s landmark 6-3 ruling in NYSRPA v. Bruen on Thursday.

Thomas pointed to District of Columbia v. Heller (2008) and McDonald v. Chicago (2010).

He notes that in those cases, the Supreme Court “recognized that the Second and Fourteenth Amendments protect the right of an ordinary, law-abiding citizen to possess a handgun in the home for self-defense.”

He then turned his attention to NYSRPA v. Bruen, saying, “In this case, petitioners and respondents agree that ordinary, law-abiding citizens have a similar right to carry handguns publicly for their self-defense.”

“We too agree, and now hold, consistent with Heller and McDonald, that the Second and Fourteenth Amendments protect an individual’s right to carry a handgun for self-defense outside the home,” Thomas observed.

Later in the Opinion, Thomas notes:  “Although we remarked in Heller that the need for armed self-defense is perhaps ‘most acute’ in the home, id., at 628, we did not suggest that the need was insignificant elsewhere.

“Many Americans hazard greater danger outside the home than in it…[and] the text of the Second Amendment reflects that reality.”

Therefore, “The Second Amendment’s plain text thus presumptively guarantees [the NYSPRA] petitioners…a right to ‘bear’ arms in public for self-defense.”

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By Frank Bergman

Frank Bergman is a political/economic journalist living on the east coast. Aside from news reporting, Bergman also conducts interviews with researchers and material experts and investigates influential individuals and organizations in the sociopolitical world.

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