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Washington, June 23
In a major expansion of gun rights, the Supreme Court said on Thursday that Americans have a right to carry firearms in public.
The justices’ 6-3 decision follows a series of recent mass shootings and is expected to ultimately allow more people to legally carry guns on the streets of the nation’s largest cities — including New York, Los Angeles and Boston — and elsewhere.
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The court ruling and Senate action on gun safety illustrate the deep divides over firearms in the US, weeks after successive mass shootings in Uvalde, Texas, and Buffalo, New York, killed more than 30 people
The Senate bill, which supporters say will save lives, aims to tighten background checks for would-be gun purchasers convicted of domestic violence or significant crimes as juveniles. reuters
About a quarter of the US population live in states expected to be affected by the ruling, the high court’s first major gun decision in more than a decade.
The ruling comes as Congress is working toward passage of gun legislation following mass shootings in Texas, New York and California.
Justice Clarence Thomas wrote for the majority that the Constitution protects “an individual’s right to carry a handgun for self-defence outside the home”.
In their decision, the justices struck down a New York law requiring people to demonstrate a particular need for carrying a gun in order to get a license to carry one in public. The justices said requirement violates the Second Amendment right to “keep and bear arms”.
California, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Rhode Island all have similar laws.
New York Gov Kathy Hochul said, “This decision isn’t just reckless. It’s reprehensible.” US President Joe Biden said he was “deeply disappointed” by the SC ruling, which he said “contradicts both common sense and the Constitution, and should deeply trouble us all”. — AP