Washington (AP) —The Supreme Court has ruled the largest gun rights In more than 10 years. Here are some questions and answers about what Thursday’s decision does and what it doesn’t.

What exactly did the Supreme Court rule over the gun?

The Supreme Court said Americans have the right to carry firearms in public for self-defense.It’s important because there are about half a dozen states It is conditional on obtaining a permit to carry a gun in public with someone who indicates the actual need to carry a weapon (sometimes referred to as a “just cause” or “appropriate reason”). It limits who can carry weapons in those states.

In that decision, the Supreme Court withdrew New York’s “just cause” requirement, but laws in other states are expected to face swift challenges. About a quarter of the US population lives in states that are expected to be affected by the ruling.

The court last issued a major gun decision in 2008 And 2010.. In those decisions, the judge established a national right to hold a gun for self-defense in a person’s home. The only question in court this time was to carry a gun out of the house.

Judge Clarence Thomas wrote in the court’s majority opinion that rights extend beyond the home.

How did the judge decide?

The gun ruling divided the court 6 to 3, with a majority of the court’s conservative judges, who the liberals opposed. In addition to Thomas, the majority commented on Judge John Roberts and Judge Samuel Alito, Judge Neil Gorsuch, Judge Brett Kavanaugh, and Judge Amy Coney Barrett. The three liberals in the court who disputed are Judge Stephen Breyer, Judge Sonia Sotomayor, and Judge Elena Kagan.

Can New Yorkers now be free to carry their guns in public?

Not exactly. The judge did not touch on other parts of New York’s gun law, so other requirements for obtaining a license remain. The court has revealed that the state can continue to force people to apply for a license to carry a pistol, limiting who is eligible for the permit and where they can carry their weapons. However, in the future, New Yorkers will no longer need to explain the specific reason they want to carry their guns in public.

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The decision also didn’t come into effect immediately, and state legislators said Thursday that they plan to overhaul the licensing rules this summer. They have not yet detailed their plans. Some options being discussed include firearm training and criminal record clean requirements. The state may also prohibit the bringing of pistols near schools or in certain places such as public transport.

Moreover, this decision does not correspond to the law recently passed in New York. In response to the Buffalo grocery massacre, people under the age of 21 were banned from purchasing or possessing semi-automatic rifles.

What other states could be affected?

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

What can the state do to regulate guns after a decision?

Judge Brett Kavanaugh, with the addition of Judge John Roberts, pointed out the limitations of the decision. The state could still require people to obtain a license to carry guns, Kavanaugh wrote, and said that license “fingerprints, background checks, checking mental health records, handling and power of firearms. Legal training on use and other possible requirements. ”The Gun Safety Group said the state could review these requirements and possibly increase them. The state can also say that anyone with a license to carry a gun must not openly do so and must hide their weapons.

Judge Samuel Alito said the decision “states no one who legally owns a firearm or what requirements must be met in order to purchase a gun.” For example, the state has long banned felony and mentally ill persons from possessing weapons. The decision also said that the state may try to limit the availability of certain weapons, as it says nothing “about the types of weapons people may own.”

Judges also suggested that the state could completely ban the carrying of guns in certain “sensitive areas.” Earlier Supreme Court rulings stated that school and government buildings were places where guns could be off limits. Mr Thomas said historical records indicate that the legislative assembly, polling stations, and courthouses can also be sensitive locations. Mr. Thomas ruled that the court took advantage of the similarity to the historical regulation of “sensitive places” to constitutionally allow modern regulations prohibiting the introduction of firearms in new and similar sensitive places. I can do it. “

How does the court evaluate the limits of forward guns?

The court has made it difficult to justify gun restrictions, but it is difficult to know what the new test announced by the court means for a particular regulation.

Thomas wrote that the State Court of Appeals has applied false criteria to assess whether such laws are not permitted. Courts generally take a two-step approach, first looking at the text and history of the Constitution to see if it falls under Article 2 of the Constitutional Amendment, and then the government if regulations apply. Check the validity of the restrictions imposed by.

“Despite the popularity of this two-step approach, it’s one step too much,” Thomas writes.

From now on, Thomas wrote that courts can only uphold the regulation if it can prove that the government is within traditionally accepted limits.

Among the state and local restrictions already challenged in federal courts are the ban on the sale of certain semi-automatic rifles called assault rifles by enemies, the purchase of large ammunition magazines, and semi-automatic firearms. There is a minimum age requirement for.

What other big rulings are being made?

Supreme Court heard debate in gun case Back in November, a decision was expected before the court began summer vacation. The court will give nine more opinions before the break and will publish more on Friday.Still waiting is the main decision for abortion..


The Associated Press editor, David Caruso, contributed to this report from New York.


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