The Supreme Court issued its biggest gun rights ruling in more than a decade Thursday. Here are some questions and answers about what the decision does and does not do:
WHAT EXACTLY WAS THE SUPREME COURT RULING ON GUNS?
The Supreme Court said that Americans have a right to carry firearms in public for self-defense. That’s important because about half a dozen states have conditioned getting a license to carry a gun in public on the person demonstrating an actual need — sometimes called “good cause” or “proper cause” — to carry the weapon. That limits who can carry a weapon in those states.
In its decision, the Supreme Court struck down New York’s “proper cause” requirement, but other states’ laws are expected to face quick challenges. About one-quarter of the U.S. population lives in states expected to be affected by the ruling.
The last time the court issued major gun decisions was in 2008 and 2010. In those decisions the justices established a nationwide right to keep a gun for self-defense in a person’s home. The question for the court this time was just about carrying a gun outside the home.
Justice Clarence Thomas wrote in the court’s majority opinion that the right extended outside the home as well: “Nothing in the Second Amendment’s text draws a home/public distinction with respect to the right to keep and bear arms.”
HOW DID THE JUSTICES RULE?
The gun ruling split the court 6-3, with the court’s conservative justices in the majority and its liberals in dissent. In addition to Thomas, the majority opinion was joined by Chief Justice John Roberts and justices Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett. The court’s three liberals who dissented are justices Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.
ARE NEW YORKERS NOW FREE TO CARRY A GUN IN PUBLIC?
Not exactly. The justices didn’t touch other parts of New York’s gun law, so other requirements to get a license remain. The court made it clear that the state can continue to make people apply for a license to carry a handgun, and can put limitations on who qualifies for a permit and where a weapon can be carried. In the future, however, New Yorkers will no longer be required to give a specific reason why they want to be able to carry a gun in public.
The decision also doesn’t take effect immediately and state lawmakers said Thursday that they were planning to overhaul the licensing rules this summer. They have yet to detail their plans. Some options under discussion include requiring firearms training and a clean criminal record. The state might also prohibit handguns from being carried in certain places, like near schools or on public transit.
In addition, the decision does not address the law that recently passed in New York in response to the Buffalo grocery store massacre that among things, banned anyone under age 21 from buying or possessing a semi-automatic rifle.
WHAT OTHER STATES ARE LIKELY TO BE IMPACTED?
A handful of states …read more
Source:: Headlines News4jax
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