New Delhi: The US Supreme Court has ruled that Americans have a fundamental right to carry a handgun in public, this comes as a landmark decision while cities and states struggle with a surge in gun violence, according to news agency AFP. Weighing down on the decision US President Joe Biden said that the ruling “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 according to AFP. “I call on Americans across the country to make their voices heard on gun safety.”
The 6-3 decision struck down century-old New York law that required a person to prove that they had a legitimate self-defence need, or “proper cause,” to receive a permit to carry a handgun outside the home.
States like California have similar laws but the court’s ruling has struck down that decision and allows people to carry guns in public without a permit.
Despite growing calls against carrying firearms, the Court has sided with advocates who said the US Constitution guarantees the right to own and carry guns. This was a major 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, according to AFP.
According to the report, 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-defence needs from exercising their Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms in public for self-defence.”
“We conclude that the State’s licensing regime violates the Constitution,” Thomas said.
The ruling comes as the US Senate is considering a rare bipartisan bill that includes certain gun control measures.
According to AFP, Democratic Senator Dick Durbin said the ruling “makes it all the more important for Congress to take actionable steps to protect our kids and communities from this nation’s gun violence epidemic.