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After the US Supreme Court says Americans have the right to carry firearms, a look at its implications MPNRC

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The Supreme Court on Thursday issued its biggest gun rights ruling in more than a decade. Here are some questions and answers about what judgment does and doesn’t do:

What exactly was the Supreme Court ruling on guns?

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The Supreme Court ruled that Americans have the right to carry a firearm in public for self-defense. This is important because about a half-dozen states have conditioned obtaining a license to carry a gun in public on a person demonstrating a genuine need—sometimes called “good cause” or “reasonable cause.” – To carry weapons. The limit that those states can carry weapons.
In its decision, the Supreme Court rejected New York’s “reasonable cause” requirement, but other states’ laws are expected to face quick challenges. About a quarter of the US population lives in the states that are likely to be affected by the decision.
The last time courts issued big gun decisions were in 2008 and 2010. In those rulings, the judges established the nationwide right to keep a gun in a person’s home for self-defense. This time the question for the court was only about taking the gun outside the house.
Justice Clarence Thomas wrote in the court’s majority opinion that the right extended outside the home as well: “Nothing in the text of the Second Amendment makes a household/public distinction with respect to the right to keep and bear arms.”

How did the justices rule?

The gun decision split the court 6–3, with the majority dissenting the court’s conservative justice and its liberals. In addition to Thomas, the majority opinion was joined by Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Connie Barrett. The three liberals on the court who dissented are Justices Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.

Are New Yorkers Now Free to Carry a Gun in Public?

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off course not. The judges did not touch on other parts of New York’s gun law, so other requirements for obtaining a license remain. The court made it clear that the state could continue to allow people to apply for a license to carry a handgun, and placed limits on who qualifies for a permit and where a weapon can be carried. Is. However, in the future, New Yorkers will no longer be required to state a specific reason why they want to be able to carry a gun in public.
The decision also does not take effect immediately and state lawmakers said on Thursday they were planning to overhaul the licensing rules this summer. He has not yet given details of his plans. Some of the options under discussion include requiring firearms training and a clean criminal record. The state may also prohibit carrying handguns in certain places, such as near schools or on public transport.
In addition, the decision does not address a law that was recently passed in New York in response to the Buffalo grocery store massacre, which banned anyone under the age of 21 from buying or possessing a semi-automatic rifle. went.

What is the impact likely to affect other states?

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A handful of states have laws similar to those of New York. The Biden administration counts California, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Rhode Island all having the same laws as New York. Connecticut and Delaware are also sometimes mentioned as states with similar laws.

What can states do to control guns after the decision?

Justice Brett Kavanaugh, joined by Chief Justice John Roberts, noted the limitations of the decision. States may still require people to be licensed to carry a firearm, Kavanaugh wrote, and stipulate that “fingerprinting, a background check, a mental health record check, and handling of firearms and force majeure.” training in the laws regarding the use of” license on. Other possible requirements. Gun control groups said states could revisit and perhaps increase those requirements. States can also say that those who have a license to own a gun should not do so openly, but should conceal their weapon.
Justice Samuel Alito said the decision said “nothing about who can legally own a gun or meet the requirements to buy a gun.” For example, states have long prohibited felonies and the mentally ill from possessing weapons. The decision didn’t say anything about “what types of weapons people can have,” Alito said, so states could also try to limit the availability of specific weapons.
The judges also suggested that states could completely prohibit the carrying of guns in certain “sensitive locations.” A previous Supreme Court ruling mentioned schools and government buildings as places where guns could go off. Thomas said the historical record shows that assemblies, polling places and courthouses can also be sensitive places. Thomas said courts can use “sensitive locations” consistent with those historical rules to determine whether modern rules prohibiting the carrying of firearms in new and equally sensitive locations are constitutionally permissible.

How do courts assess gun restrictions going forward?

The court made it difficult to justify gun bans, though it’s hard to know what the new test the court announced would mean for any specific regulation.
Thomas wrote that the country’s appeals courts are applying the wrong standard to assess whether such laws are permissible. Courts have generally taken a two-step approach, first looking at the constitutional text and history to see if a regulation falls under the Second Amendment and then, if it does, the government’s justification for the ban. Seeing it.
“Despite the popularity of this two-step approach, it is one step too much,” Thomas wrote.
From now on, Thomas wrote, courts can uphold rules only if the government can prove that they fall within traditionally accepted limits.
State and local restrictions already being challenged in federal court include a ban on the sale of certain semi-automatic weapons, called assault rifles by opponents, and large-capacity ammunition magazines, as well as semi-automatic firearms. Minimum age requirements to purchase.

What other big decisions are in the works?

The Supreme Court heard arguments in the gun case in November and a decision is expected before the court’s summer vacation begins. The court has nine more opinions before going on break and plans to release more on Friday. Waiting still is a big decision to have an abortion.

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