US Supreme Court Bolsters Gun-Carrying Rights, Overturns New York Law

The US Supreme Court has ruled against a New York law that restricted gun-carrying, allowing citizens to carry firearms for self-defense.

The ruling hands a historic victory to gun rights advocates amid a fierce national debate over how to tackle firearms violence. It was the most significant gun ruling in over ten years.

The court found that a New York law violated people’s rights to “keep and bear arms” under the  US Constitution’s Second Amendment. The law, enacted in 1913, required citizens to show “proper cause” to carry concealed firearms in public.

The 6-3 ruling was backed by most conservative justices, with liberal justices dissenting.

Writing on behalf of the six conservative judges, Justice Clarence Thomas ruled that US residents can carry “common use” firearms for personal defense. The three liberal justices who dissented were Elena Kagan, Sonia Sotomayor, and Stephen Breyer.

“We know of no other constitutional right that an individual may exercise only after demonstrating to government officers some special need,” Judge Thomas added.

The court’s decision could jeopardize similar restrictions in other states. Policy experts say it paves the way for states like Maryland, New Jersey, California, Hawaii, and Massachusetts to challenge other gun bans.

The ruling comes amid political divisions over firearms regulation in the US, a country with high levels of gun violence and mass shootings. The debate intensified last month after an 18-year-old gunman opened fire at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, killing 21 people, including 19 children.

Another high-profile shooting at a grocery store in Buffalo, New York, that left ten people dead on May 14 also sparked widespread criticism over the country’s gun regulations.

The court’s decision also comes shortly after the US Senate passed new legislation to restrict access to firearms.

According to the latest official reports, over 390 million weapons are in the hands of US civilians. Figures also showed that more than 45,000 US citizens died from gun-related injuries.

US President Joe Biden condemned the court’s ruling, saying it contradicts “both common sense and the Constitution, and should trouble us all.”

New York City Mayor Eric Adams also criticized the decision, saying he would review other ways to tighten gun access.

“We cannot allow New York to become the wild, wild west,” he added.