The US Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that Americans have a fundamental right to carry a handgun in public, a landmark decision with far-reaching implications for states and cities across the country struggling with a surge in gun violence.
The 6-3 decision strikes down a more than century-old New York law that required a person to prove they had a legitimate self-defense need, or “proper cause,” to receive a permit to carry a handgun outside the home.
Today 6 SCOTUS justices who go to work every day in one of the most well-guarded buildings in the country ruled against commonsense gun control laws to protect students, teachers, grocery store clerks, and doctors that go to school and work every day without such a privilege.
— Rahna Epting (@rahnamepting) June 23, 2022
Several other states, including California, have similar laws — and the court’s ruling will curb their ability to restrict people from carrying guns in public.
Biden denounces decision
Democratic President Joe Biden denounced the decision, saying it “contradicts both common sense and the Constitution, and should deeply trouble us all.”
“We must do more as a society — not less — to protect our fellow Americans,” Biden said. “I call on Americans across the country to make their voices heard on gun safety.”
Despite a growing call for limits on firearms after two horrific mass shootings in May, the court sided with advocates who said the US Constitution guarantees the right to own and carry guns.
The ruling is the first by the court in a major Second Amendment case in over a decade, when it ruled in 2008 that Americans have a right to keep a gun at home for self-defense.
I’m deeply disappointed by the Supreme Court’s ruling in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen. This ruling contradicts common sense and the Constitution, and should deeply trouble us all.
I remain committed to doing everything in my power to reduce gun violence.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) June 23, 2022
It was a stunning victory for the National Rifle Association lobby group, which brought the case along with two New York men who had been denied gun permits.
“Today’s ruling is a watershed win for good men and women all across America and is the result of a decades-long fight the NRA has led,” NRA executive vice president Wayne LaPierre said in a statement.
“The right to self-defense and to defend your family and loved ones should not end at your home.”
New York Governor Kathy Hochul called it a “dark day,” while California’s leader Gavin Newsom termed the decision “shameful.”
Justice Clarence Thomas wrote the majority opinion and was joined by the other five conservatives on the nine-member court, three of whom were nominated by former Republican president Donald Trump.
Thomas said the New York law prevents “law-abiding citizens with ordinary self-defense needs from exercising their Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms in public for self-defense.”
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