U.S. Supreme Court expands gun rights and overturns New York law

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WASHINGTON. The U.S. Supreme Court said Thursday for the first time that the U.S. Constitution protects a person’s right to carry a gun in public in self-defense, a landmark victory for gun rights advocates in a country deeply divided over how firearms are handled. violence.

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The 6-3 ruling, in which the court’s conservative judges are in the majority and liberal judges disagree, violated New York State restrictions on carrying a concealed handgun outside the home. The court found that a law passed in 1913 violated a person’s right to “keep and bear arms” under the Second Amendment to the US Constitution.

The ruling, authored by Judge Clarence Thomas, said the Constitution protects “the right of the individual to carry a pistol for self-defense outside the home.”

Thomas added: “We know of no other constitutional right that a person can exercise only after demonstrating some special need to government officials.”

New York’s restriction is unconstitutional because it “prevents law-abiding citizens with ordinary self-defense needs from exercising their right to keep and bear arms,” ​​Thomas added.

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Judges overturned a lower court decision dismissing a lawsuit by two gun owners and the New York affiliate of the National Rifle Association, a powerful gun rights group with close ties to Republicans.

The ruling represents the court’s most important gun rights statement in more than a decade. In 2008, the court first recognized the right of a person to keep a gun at home for the purpose of self-defense in the District of Columbia case, and in 2010 applied this right to the states.

The new ruling emphasized that the court’s 6-3 conservative majority sympathizes with an expanded reading of Second Amendment rights.

As required by New York law’s “good cause” requirement, applicants applying for an unlimited concealed carry permit must convince a state firearms licensing officer of a real, and not speculative, need for self-defense. Officials may also issue licenses limited to certain activities, such as hunting or target shooting.

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The ruling could result in many more people obtaining concealed carry firearms licenses in the state, undermine similar restrictions in other states, and jeopardize other types of state and local firearms restrictions across the country by requiring judges to be more skeptical. studying them in accordance with the Constitution. .

The ruling states that New York’s concealed firearms regime is contrary to the text and history of the Second Amendment, and how gun rights have been protected throughout U.S. history.

Gun safety groups and gun control activists feared that a wide-ranging decision against New York City could undermine gun measures such as “red flag” laws targeting firearms of people deemed dangerous by courts, extended checks criminal record for gun buyers or restrictions on sale without traceability. ghost pistols built from components bought online. They also feared that such a ruling could jeopardize the ban on carrying guns in sensitive places such as airports, courthouses, hospitals and schools.

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The U.S. Senate is set to vote later Thursday to move forward a bipartisan gun control bill that supporters hope will help curb mass shootings and could be the first new federal gun law in decades.

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Eight states, including New York, are empowering officials to decide whether people can carry concealed firearms in public even if they meet criteria such as a criminal record check.

Treasured by many Americans and promised by the nation’s founders in the 18th century, gun rights are a contentious issue in a country with high levels of gun violence, including numerous mass shootings. The administration of President Joe Biden supported New York in this cause.

In the United States, hundreds of people have died in dozens of mass shootings in recent years. In recent weeks alone, 19 children and two teachers were killed on May 24 at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, and 10 people were killed on May 14 at a grocery store in Buffalo, New York.

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Biden advocated new restrictions on the carrying of firearms and called gun violence a “national disgrace”.

In a concurring opinion, Judge Samuel Alito downplayed the scope of the decision, saying that the court “was told nothing about who can legally own a firearm or about the requirements that must be met to purchase a gun.” It also doesn’t decide anything about the types of weapons people can wield.”

Alito disputed that gun regulations such as those in New York would deter mass shootings, citing the recent massacre in Buffalo.

“The New York law in question in this case clearly did not stop this perpetrator,” Alito wrote.

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