A view of the United States Supreme Court building.
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- The United States Supreme Court has ruled that residents can carry firearms in public.
- The historic ruling was made on Thursday.
- The court struck down a New York law that required people to have a self-defense motive to carry a gun.
The United States Supreme Court ruled Thursday that Americans have a fundamental right to carry firearms in public in a landmark decision.
The 6-3 ruling overturns a New York law that required a person to show they had legitimate self-defense needs to receive a gun permit and will prevent states from restricting people from carrying guns.
Despite a growing call to limit firearms after two mass shootings in May shocked the country, the court sided with advocates who said the US Constitution guarantees the right to keep and bear arms. .
The ruling is the court’s first in a major Second Amendment case in a decade and a victory for the powerful gun lobby, the National Rifle Association.
“Today’s ruling is a decisive victory for good men and women across America and is the result of a decades-long fight that the NRA has led,” NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre said in a statement.
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“The right to self-defense and to defend your family and loved ones should not end at home.”
Justice Clarence Thomas, who wrote the majority opinion, said “The Second and Fourteenth Amendments protect an individual’s right to carry a firearm for self-defense outside the home.
“New York’s good cause requirement violates the Fourteenth Amendment by preventing law-abiding citizens with ordinary self-defense needs from exercising their Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms in public for self-defense.”
The US Senate is currently considering a rare bipartisan bill that includes modest gun control measures.
On May 14, an 18-year-old used an AR-15-style assault rifle to kill 10 African-American men at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York.
Less than two weeks later, 19 children and two teachers were shot to death at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, by another teenager with the same type of high-powered semi-automatic rifle.
New York law says that in order to obtain a permit to carry a firearm outside the home, a gun owner must clearly demonstrate that it is explicitly needed for self-defense, meaning those without the demonstrated need cannot do so.
Gun rights advocates said it violated the Second Amendment to the Constitution, which says “the right of persons to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”
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More than half of the states in the US already allow the carrying of firearms without a permit, and most of them only did so in the last decade.
But more than 20 still maintain restrictions that they may now be forced to drop depending on the court’s ruling.
In the ruling, the court struck down a New York state law dating back to 1913 that had been based on the understanding that individual states had the right to regulate the use and possession of guns.
In the last two decades, more than 200 million weapons have reached the US market, led by assault rifles and personal pistols, fueling a surge in murders, mass shootings and suicides.