By Reena Bhardwaj
Washington [US], June 23 (ANI): The US Supreme Court on Thursday struck down a New York law restricting gun-carrying rights. The court ruled that Americans have a fundamental right to carry firearms in public and that limiting that right violates the 14th amendment of the Constitution.
The New York State law in question required individuals who wished to carry a firearm outside their home to prove that they have “proper cause” to do so based on a special need for self-defence beyond that of an ordinary citizen.
“New York’s proper-cause requirement violates the Fourteenth Amendment by preventing law-abiding citizens with ordinary self-defence needs from exercising their Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms in public for self-defence,” the US Supreme Court said.
The decision to invalidate New York’s law throws into question the legality of similar restrictions in more than a half dozen other states that give licensing officials wide discretion over concealed carry permits.
The ruling jeopardises similar restrictions in other states and expands gun rights. The ruling broke along ideological lines, with the court’s six conservatives joining a majority opinion written by Justice Clarence Thomas.
Thomas argued that no other constitutional right requires a citizen to demonstrate to the government the need to exercise that right.
The New York State law prevents law-abiding citizens from exercising their Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms, Thomas concluded.
The National Rifle Association (NRA), on the other hand, celebrated the ruling.
The gun lobby helped back the plaintiffs in the case, Robert Nash and Brandon Koch – two New Yorkers who had applied for a concealed carry permit but were denied them, despite having licences for recreational gun ownership.
Ahead of the Supreme Court ruling, the US Senate had announced steps towards new legislation tightening access to firearms.
More than 390 million guns are owned by civilians in the US. In 2020 alone, more than 45,000 Americans died from firearms-related injuries including homicides and suicides.
The ruling comes at a time of heightened support for gun control following a string of high-profile mass shootings. The May 24 massacre at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, that killed 19 children and two teachers, was the bloodiest mass shooting in the United States this year, which occurred only 10 days after another shooting that killed 10 people at a supermarket in Buffalo. (ANI)