The United States Supreme Court declared on Thursday that Americans have a right to carry firearms in public for self-defense. The decision stands as a major expansion of gun rights in America.
The decision is the Supreme Court’s first major gun ruling in over a decade. It was passed with a 6-3 vote, with the court’s conservatives in the majority and liberals in dissent.
As per an Insider Paper report, SCOTUS’ decision effectively strikes down a longtime New York law that required a person to prove they had legitimate self-defense need or “proper cause” before they could be permitted to carry a handgun outside their homes.
Similar laws exist in other states, including California. With the decision in place, people in some of the United States’ major cities, such as New York, Los Angeles, and Boston, would be allowed to carry their firearms on the street. About a quarter of the United States’ population resides in states that are expected to be affected by the ruling, according to the Associated Press.
Justice Clarence Thomas wrote the majority opinion on the decision. Thomas noted that 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.”
“We conclude that the State’s licensing regime violates the Constitution,” Thomas noted.
The decision has received polarizing reactions. The Biden administration denounced the ruling, with Joe stating that 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. I call on Americans across the country to make their voices heard on gun safety,” Biden said.
The National Rifle Association, on the other hand, praised SCOTUS’ ruling. In a statement, NRA executive vice president Wayne LaPierre stated that the right to self-defense is pivotal for people in the United States.
“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. The right to self-defense and to defend your family and loved ones should not end at your home,” LaPierre said.