The U.S. Supreme Court has overturned a century-old law in New York requiring small arms owners to show “proper reason” to obtain a license to carry a concealed weapon, dealing a blow to the state’s efforts to to combat the proliferation of firearms and possibly extend the scope of Second Amendment protections.
The law requires handgun owners to show “proper reason,” including reasons for self-defense, rather than just carrying a concealed weapon for property protection or other reasons.
In case of New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc v Bruenthe court was asked to consider whether the Second Amendment allows the government to prohibit firearms owners from carrying pistols outside their homes for self-defense — a challenge that could break precedents for covert carrying restrictions and rules about how and where Americans can carry guns. carry across the US.
The court’s conservative majority ruled 6-3 in favor of the organization in an opinion written by Judge Samuel Alito.
A decision in the case follows several deadly massacres, including the racially motivated murders of 10 black people at a grocery store in Buffalo, New York, that have revived debates in the state legislature and in Congress and the White House about gun control and repeated failures to tackle waves. mass shootings and gun violence in the US.
Heard oral arguments from lawyers for a gun rights advocacy group and two men whose applications for concealed carry licenses were denied, arguing that the Second Amendment enshrines the right to bear arms, including the right to carry a gun for self-defense that extends outside the house.
In his dissent, joined by Judges Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor, Judge Stephen Breyer spoke about the epidemic of gun violence in the country and offered a comprehensive list of mass shootings in recent years.
“Since the beginning of this year alone… 277 mass shootings have been reported — more than one per day on average,” he wrote.
He highlighted the prevalence of guns in both domestic disputes, pointing to a study that found that “a woman is five times more likely to be killed by an abusive partner if that partner has access to a gun,” and how “the consequences of gun violence are disproportionately borne by communities of color and black communities.
“Many states have attempted to address some of the dangers of gun violence just described by passing laws that restrict in various ways who can buy, carry or use firearms of different types,” he wrote. “The court today places a heavy burden on the efforts of states to do this.”
He argued that it is both “constitutionally appropriate” and “necessary” for courts to consider the “serious dangers and consequences of gun violence” that compel states to regulate firearms.
Judge Breyer condemned the decision to repeal the New York law, based solely on the plaintiffs’ arguments in the case “without first allowing the development of any evidence and without regard to the imperative interest of the state.” in the prevention of gun violence.”
Justice Alito criticized Judge Breyer’s dissent, saying New York law “didn’t stop that perpetrator” in Buffalo. He also condemned the dissent for including statistics on gun use in suicide and domestic disputes, claiming they are “irrelevant” to the issue.
In 2020, the most recent year for which data is available, 54 percent of all firearms-related deaths in the U.S. were suicides (24,292), while 43 percent were homicides (19,384), according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
New York Governor Kathy Hochul said in a statement that it is “outrageous that at a time of national reckoning for gun violence, the Supreme Court recklessly repealed a New York law restricting who can carry concealed weapons.”
She said her office might consider convening a special legislative assembly to expand gun laws in the state.
“I will continue to do everything I can to protect New Yorkers from gun violence,” she said.
New York Congresswoman Ritchie Torres said the decision will “deepen the crisis of gun violence” in New York and elsewhere.
“Striking the correct cause requirement, such as” [the Supreme Court] has done, means that the average person gets the right to carry a gun in public, even in a city as densely populated as [as New York City],” he said.
“Life as we know it in NYC could be radically reshaped — for the worse,” he said.
This is a story in development