Home Civilian based defense Explainer: What changes after the landmark US Supreme Court decision on firearms?

Explainer: What changes after the landmark US Supreme Court decision on firearms?

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Abortion rights protesters protest outside the United States Supreme Court as the court rules in the abortion case Dobbs v Women’s Health Organization, overturning the landmark abortion decision Roe v Wade in Washington, USA United, June 24, 2022. REUTERS / Jim Bourg

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June 24 (Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court ruled for the first time on Thursday that the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees an individual’s right to bear arms in public in self-defense.

WHAT DOES IT CHANGE?

The ruling invalidated New York’s gun licensing laws and similar laws in California, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey and the District of Columbia, denying concealed carry permits to guns to residents wanting a gun for self-defense unless they can prove they had a “good cause.”

The ruling makes it much harder for U.S. lawmakers to regulate guns and other weapons like other countries can, and easier for the National Rifle Association and other pro-gun groups to win legal challenges. against gun control.

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Gunmakers said the move would likely expand their market in a country that the Geneva-based Small Arms Survey says is unique in having more guns than people. Since 2005, the Lawful Arms Trade Protection Act has granted near-blanket immunity to gun manufacturers and dealers from liability for crimes committed with their products.

In a concurring opinion, Justice Brett Kavanaugh, a conservative, wrote that licensing regimes for handguns used by 43 states that do not require “just cause” are acceptable. Officials in the states affected by the ruling said they plan to rewrite their laws along these lines.

Provisions used by many states, including checking a firearms license applicant’s criminal and mental health records, fingerprinting the applicant, and requiring firearms training , are all constitutional, Kavanaugh wrote.

CAN YOU CARRY A WEAPON ANYWHERE NOW?

No. The court reiterated an earlier ruling that guns could be banned in “sensitive places such as schools and government buildings”.

New York leaders have said they will seek to ban guns from as many places, including the subway, as possible. New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said he would seek legislation banning guns in places such as bars, arenas, hospitals and government buildings. California officials said they would compile similar lists.

Tom King, president of the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association, one of the plaintiffs in the Supreme Court case, said he would legally challenge any gun-in-transit ban.

WHAT DO THE RULES SAY?

The 63-page opinion of the court’s conservative majority in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen asserts that there is a “constitutional right to bear arms in public in self-defence”.

The right is comparable to other fundamental rights guaranteed by the US Constitution, according to the opinion, such as the right to due process or the free exercise of religion. Contrary to these rights, the opinion indicates that the right to bear arms can only be limited to “law-abiding and responsible citizens”.

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Reporting by Jonathan Allen in New York; Editing by Marguerita Choy

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