The US supreme court has struck down a long-standing New York law restricting the possession of firearms in public places, a decision that sets precedent regarding similar laws in a number of other US states.
The law overturned by the court required anyone wishing to carry a handgun in public to show “proper cause” for doing so. The ruling in this case declares the law unconstitutional.
In his ruling, Justice Clarence Thomas wrote: “Apart from a few late-19th-century outlier jurisdictions, American governments simply have not broadly prohibited the public carry of commonly used firearms for personal defense. Nor have they generally required law-abiding, responsible citizens to ‘demonstrate a special need for self-protection distinguishable from that of the general community’ to carry arms in public.”
The decision was met with outcry by advocates for tighter gun control.
President Biden has been a leading voice calling for additional protection against the threat of gun violence, and was highly critical of the court’s ruling, describing it as contradicting “both common sense and the constitution”. Biden pointed to the long-standing supreme court acceptance of the New York laws, which were passed in 1911.
“Since 1911, the state of New York has required individuals who would like to carry a concealed weapon in public to show a need to do so for the purpose of self defense and to require a license. More than a century later, the United States supreme court has chosen to strike down New York’s long-established authority to protect its citizens.”
“I call on Americans across the country to make their voices heard on gun safety. Lives are on the line.”