The judges’ 6-3 decision is expected to eventually allow more people to legally carry guns on the streets of the nation’s largest cities – including New York, Los Angeles and
– Somewhere else. Nearly a quarter of the US population lives in states that are likely to be affected by the ruling, which is the High Court’s first major gun decision in more than a decade.
The ruling comes as Congress is actively working on gun legislation following the recent mass shootings in Texas, New York and California.
Justice Clarence Thomas wrote for the majority that the Constitution “protects the right of a person to carry a handgun for self-defense outside the home.”
In their ruling, the judges struck down a New York law that requires people to demonstrate a special requirement to carry a firearm in order to be licensed to carry it in public. The judges said the requirement violates the Second Amendment right to “keep and bear arms.”
Similar laws in California, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Rhode Island are all likely to be challenged as a result of the ruling. The Biden administration urged judges to uphold New York’s law.
Proponents of New York’s law had argued that toppling it down would eventually lead to more guns on the streets and higher rates of violent crime. The decision comes at a time when gun violence is already on the rise during the coronavirus pandemic.
Gun owners in most countries have little difficulty legally carrying their weapons in public. But that was harder to do in New York and a handful of states with similar laws. New York law, which has been in force since 1913, states that in order to carry a concealed weapon in public, a person applying for a license must show “reasonable cause,” a specific requirement to carry the weapon.
The state issues unrestricted licenses where a person can carry their gun anywhere and restricted licenses which allow a person to carry a weapon, but only for specific purposes such as hunting and target shooting or their place of business.
The Supreme Court last issued a big gun decision in 2010. In that decision and a 2008 ruling, judges established a nationwide right to have a gun at home for self-defense. This time the question for the court was to be taken out of the house.
The court had previously indicated that there was no problem with the ban on carrying guns in “sensitive places”, including government buildings and schools. It has said the same thing about preventing criminals and the mentally ill from owning guns.
The challenge to the New York law was brought by the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association, which describes itself as the nation’s oldest firearms advocacy organization, and calls for the unrestricted ability of two men to carry guns outside their homes. .
The court’s decision is slightly out of public opinion. Nearly half of voters in the 2020 presidential election said gun laws in the US should be made more strict, according to Associated Press VoteCast, a detailed poll of voters. An additional third said the laws should be kept in place, while only 1 in 10 said gun laws should be less strict.
VoteCast showed that about 8 in 10 Democratic voters said gun laws should be made stricter. Among Republican voters, nearly half said the laws should be kept, while the remaining half should be divided between more and less strict.
Associated Press reporter Hannah Fingerhut contributed to this report.