Supreme Court strikes down NYC gun licensing law, establishes right to carry outside the home

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The U.S. Supreme Court struck down a New York law that required people to show a special need to carry a handgun in public, ruling for the first time that the Second Amendment protects gun rights in public. exterior of the house.

The 6-3 ruling could mean more guns in public places in some of America’s most populous cities. New York was one of at least six states – along with California, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Maryland and Hawaii – with laws that prevented most people from legally carrying a handgun.

“We are not aware of any other constitutional right which an individual may exercise only after demonstrating to a government official a special need,” Judge Clarence Thomas wrote for the court.

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The decision follows a series of mass shootings, including rampages that together left more than 30 dead at a grocery store in Buffalo, New York, and an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas. The Senate is set to approve new gun safety measures in response to these killings.

Appointed by Trump

The ruling was the court’s biggest decision on gun rights in more than a decade. He pointed to the impact of the three justices appointed by former President Donald Trump: Justices Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett, who all joined the majority.

The three liberals – Justices Stephen Breyer, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor – dissented.

“The New York Legislature has considered the empirical evidence of gun violence and passed reasonable licensing legislation to regulate the concealed carry of handguns to keep New Yorkers safe,” Breyer wrote. for the group.

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Everytown for Gun Safety, which advocates for gun safety measures, is backed by Michael Bloomberg, founder and majority owner of Bloomberg News’ parent company, Bloomberg LP. The group filed a Supreme Court brief supporting the New York restrictions.

Shares of gun makers and distributors hit highs on Thursday after the decision. Smith & Wesson Brands Inc. jumped 7.6%, while Sturm Ruger & Co. climbed 2.7% and Ammo Inc. rose 3.5%.

New York law required people to present a “good cause” to obtain a concealed carry license. Although the law does not define the term, New York state court rulings have stated that applicants must demonstrate a need for self-protection that sets them apart from the general public. The law gave local authorities wide discretion to decide whether the standard was met.

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Opponents said the practical effect was to leave the vast majority of the state’s residents without the right to carry a handgun in public. The state generally prohibits open carry.

The case is New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen, 20-843.

Photo: Police officers outside the United States Supreme Court in Washington, DC Photographer: Al Drago/Bloomberg

Copyright 2022 Bloomberg.

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