Supreme Court Expands Gun Rights, Strikes New York Borders

Washington (AFP) – In a major expansion of gun rights, the Supreme Court said Thursday that Americans have the right to carry firearms in public for self-defense.

The decision comes on the heels of recent mass shootings, and is expected to eventually allow more people to legally carry guns on the streets of the country’s largest cities — including New York, Los Angeles and Boston — and elsewhere. About a quarter of the US population lives in states expected to be affected Under the ruling, which repealed the New York gun law. The decision, the Supreme Court’s first major decision on guns in over a decade, was 6-3 With conservatives in court in the majority and liberals in opposition.

The ruling comes as Congress is working toward its passage Firearms Legislation After Mass Shooting in Texas, New York and California. On Thursday, senators were expected to pave the way for this measure, modest in scope but still the most impactful in decades.

President Joe Biden said in a statement that he was “deeply disappointed” by the Supreme Court’s decision, which he said “contradicts common sense and the Constitution, and should deeply upset all of us.”

He urged states to pass new laws and said, “I call on Americans across the country to make their voices heard about gun safety. Lives are at stake.”

In the same opinion, Justice Clarence Thomas wrote to a majority that the Constitution protects “the right of the individual to carry a handgun for self-defense outside the home.”

The decision overturned a law in New York requiring people to demonstrate a certain need to carry a handgun in order to obtain a license to carry it in public. The judges said that this provision violated the Second Amendment’s right to “keep and bear arms.”

California, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Rhode Island have similar laws. The Biden administration had urged judges to support the New York law.

New York Governor. Kathy Hoshol said the verdict comes at a particularly painful time, as New York continues to mourn the deaths of 10 people in a mass shooting at a supermarket in Buffalo.. “This decision isn’t just reckless. It’s reprehensible. It’s not what New Yorkers want,” she said.

But Tom King, president of the New York State Rifle and Handgun Association plaintiff, said he was relieved.

“The legitimate and legal New York State gun owner will not be persecuted by laws that have nothing to do with people’s safety and will do nothing to make people safer,” he said. “And we may now begin to prosecute the criminals and the perpetrators of these heinous acts.”

In legal opposition joined by his fellow liberals, Justice Stephen Breyer focused on the toll of gun violence. “Since the beginning of this year alone (2022), 277 mass shootings have been reported – an average of more than one shooting per day,” Breyer wrote.

Supporters of the New York law argued that dropping it would lead to more guns on the streets and higher rates of violent crime. Gun violence, which was already on the rise during the coronavirus pandemic, is on the rise again.

In most parts of the country, gun owners have little legal difficulty in carrying their guns in public. But it was difficult to do in New York and a few states with similar laws. New York law, which has been in place since 1913, states that in order to carry a concealed handgun in public, a person applying for a license must show a “proper reason,” i.e. a specific need to carry the gun.

The state issues unrestricted licenses where a person can carry their gun anywhere and restricted licenses allow a person to carry a gun but only for specific purposes such as hunting and shooting at a target or to and from their workplace.

The Supreme Court made the last significant decision on guns in 2010. In that decision and ruling from 2008 The judges established a national right to keep a handgun at home for self-defense. This time the court’s question was about carrying someone out of the house.

The challenge to New York law was presented by the New York State Rifle and Handgun Association, which describes itself as the oldest firearms defense organization in the country, and two men searching for the unrestricted ability to carry guns outside their homes.

The court’s decision is somewhat inconsistent with public opinion. About half of voters in the 2020 presidential election said US gun laws should be stricter, according to the AP VoteCast, an extensive voter survey. An additional third said the laws should remain the same, while only 1 in 10 said gun laws should be less stringent.

And VoteCast showed that about 8 in 10 Democratic voters said gun laws should be stricter. Among Republican voters, nearly half said the laws should be kept the same, while the remaining half is largely divided between more and less stringent.


Associated Press reporters Hannah Fingerhout and Zeke Miller in Washington and Michael Hill in East Greenbush, New York, contributed to this report.

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