Americans have the right to carry guns in public: US Supreme Court MIGMG News

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The ruling comes as Congress works to pass firearms legislation in the wake of mass shootings in Texas, New York and California.

Washington: In a major expansion of gun rights, the Supreme Court said Thursday that Americans have the right to carry firearms in public. The judges’ 6-3 decision follows a series of recent mass shootings, and is expected to eventually allow more people to carry guns legally on the streets of the nation’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 by the ruling, the first major Supreme Court decision on guns in more than a decade.

The ruling comes as Congress works to pass firearms legislation in the wake of mass shootings in Texas, New York and California.

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.”

In their decision, the judges struck down a New York law requiring people to demonstrate a certain need to carry a gun 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.”

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

New York Governor Cathy Hochhol said the decision comes at a particularly painful time, as New York remains in mourning for the 10 deaths 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.

In an opposition joined by his fellow liberals, Justice Stephen Breyer focused on the toll gun violence takes. “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 “appropriate reason,” and the 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 place of work.

The Supreme Court made the last significant decision on guns in 2010. In that decision and one from 2008, the justices established a nationwide right to keep a gun 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 roughly divided between more and less stringent.

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