NewsWorldUS Supreme Court could soon loosen gun laws as...

US Supreme Court could soon loosen gun laws as country reels from massacres

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The US is the country with the largest circulation of weapons in the world 0:55 (CNN) — As the Supreme Court has been working behind closed doors on its first major opinion on the Second Amendment in more than a decade, three shootings Massive massacres have shaken the country, including Tuesday’s massacre of 19 schoolchildren and two teachers in Texas. Behind closed doors, justices are drafting opinions and dissents in a dispute that targets a concealed-carry law in New York that is more than a century old. A narrow ruling might affect only a handful of states with similar laws, but a broader ruling could open a new chapter in constitutional challenges to gun safety laws across the country. “As a formal matter, the New York Gun Law Court’s ruling does not call into question gun laws that restrict the types of weapons or the sensitive locations in which individuals may carry them,” said Jacob Charles, director executive of the Center for Firearms Law at Duke University School of Law. “But a broader ruling that changes how courts assess gun laws could call into question a broader set of gun regulations, like assault weapon bans and other restrictions like bans on magazine clips. high capacity,” added Charles. The deliberations come as the country mourns another tragedy, victims of gun violence call for more action, and political powers seem forever divided on the way forward. This is requested by the father of Lexi Rubio, a girl victim of the shooting in Texas 2:08 In 2008, the Supreme Court held for the first time that the Second Amendment protects the right of people to have and carry weapons at home to defend themselves. However, after the ruling, to the frustration of gun rights advocates, lower courts relied on the language of the opinion to uphold many gun regulations. “Nothing in our opinion should be construed as calling into question long-standing bans on the possession of firearms by criminals and the mentally ill, or laws prohibiting the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and buildings. governments,” then-Justice Antonin Scalia wrote for the majority in the Heller case. Except for a subsequent decision two years later, the justices largely stayed out of the issue, angering gun rights advocates and even some of the justices themselves.
Justice Clarence Thomas stated at one point that “the Second Amendment is a disfavored right in this court.” After Amy Coney Barrett took over her seat, the court agreed to take a new case, highlighting the impact of former President Donald Trump’s three nominees on the court. The New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. Bruen refers to a New York law that regulates licenses to carry concealed handguns in public for personal defense. Requires a resident to obtain a license to carry a concealed pistol or revolver and show that there is “adequate cause” for the permit. Residents must show that they have a serious need for the license and that they face a “special or unique danger to life.” In oral arguments, the court’s conservative majority seemed willing to reject the New York law as excessive, though it is always dangerous to gauge the outcome of a case by what judges say in open court. There seemed to be broad support for the rules governing sensitive sites, but the question that arises is the breadth of the decision and how it might affect other laws. The arguments were held on November 3, months before a mass shooting on a Brooklyn subway carried out by an attacker who donned a gas mask, unfurled a gas canister and then began shooting, firing at least 33 times. . In May, a gunman killed 10 people in a supermarket in Buffalo, New York). Less than two weeks later, another killed 21 children and adults at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. During the oral arguments, several of the judges asked questions about the regulations directed at sensitive places, such as the subway. Paul Clement, an attorney for the NRA affiliate behind the challenge, argued that New York has a “right to have laws that say you can’t keep guns in sensitive places” and that he wasn’t challenging those laws. For his part, liberal Justice Elena Kagan pressed Clement for his views on the definition of sensitive places. She was the first to bring up the New York subways, asking if they count as sensitive places. Noting that her clients live outside of New York City, Clement said, “I guess I could give the subway away because they’re not in Manhattan. They’re in Rensselaer County.” Conservative Justice Samuel Alito, perhaps trying to gauge the scope of the eventual opinion, looked at the issue from the perspective of law-abiding people who ride the subway and want to be able to carry a gun to protect themselves. Alito asked New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood about people coming home from work late at night in Manhattan. A doorman, a nurse, someone who washes dishes are all citizens who have to “go home by subway”. Alito suggested that these may be people who are afraid but would not be entitled to a license under New York law. “How is that consistent with the fundamental right to self-defense, which is protected by the Second Amendment?” he asked. Thomas brought a road atlas to oral arguments, presumably to emphasize the law’s breadth and the fact that it affects people who live far from bustling cities. “It’s one thing to talk about Manhattan or the New York University campus,” Thomas said. “It’s another thing to talk about rural upstate New York.” Potential Impact of Court Action Although only a handful of other states have laws similar to New York’s, those states have some of the largest cities in the country. And while the mass shootings since the court began deliberating behind closed doors implicate assault weapons, mental health issues and age restrictions more than the concealed carry law before the court, one opinion broad could also affect such laws. “The American people are fed up and demanding solutions to stop the killing,” said Jonathan E. Lowy, vice president, general counsel and head of the Brady Campaign. “If the Supreme Court adopts the extremist view of the Second Amendment that the gun lobby is pushing, many of those solutions could be left off the table, and we could be forced to live in this nightmare created by the gun lobby.” , said. “If the self-proclaimed originalists on the Supreme Court ignore the centuries of history supporting New York’s gun safety law and wrongly force states to allow more guns in public places, more people will be shot and killed and our right to public safety will be in even more danger,” Eric Tirschwell, executive director of Everytown Law, told CNN. Fresh from Tuesday’s tragedy, Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, a former Supreme Court clerk, highlighted the division on the issue, saying that after such tragedies “you see politicians trying to politicize it.” . School shooting survivor relives experience of him 4:24 “You see Democrats and a lot of people in the media whose immediate solution is to try to restrict the constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens,” he told reporters. “That doesn’t work. It’s not effective and it doesn’t prevent crime,” he said, noting that a better course would be to go after “criminals and fugitives and those with serious mental illness.” Similar sentiments were echoed by the Supreme Court challengers in calling for the New York law to be invalidated. Clement told the justices that the law in question makes it a “felony for a typical law-abiding New Yorker to exercise a constitutional right.” “Carrying a firearm outside the home is a fundamental constitutional right,” he said. “It is not an extraordinary action that requires an extraordinary demonstration of necessity.” According to the Giffords Law Center, all states, as well as the District of Columbia, authorize people to carry concealed weapons in public in some form. Twenty-five states now generally allow concealed carry in most public spaces without any permits, background checks, or safety training. Eight states, including New York, have “permit laws,” which give state officials broad discretion in denying an applicant a permit. But other conservatives are urging the Supreme Court to uphold the New York law. J. Michael Luttig, a Republican and former conservative appellate judge, filed a brief in support of the law. In The New York Times, Luttig and appellate attorney Richard Bernstein said the case “presents a test for this conservative Supreme Court.” He noted that legislatures have “historically and traditionally” restricted the public carrying of guns and that the District of Columbia bans firearms in public in many places, referencing the January 6, 2021 attack on the US Capitol. . “Two days before the Capitol riot, the district’s then-acting police chief publicly warned protesters that they would be jailed if they brought their handguns to the protest,” they wrote, noting that a “vast majority” heeded the warning. warning and left his weapons at home. “If the district’s strict restrictions on public carrying had not been on the books, more lives would undoubtedly have been lost and more mayhem ensued on January 6,” they said. Other challenges before the Supreme Court While Supreme Court justices are considering the Bruen case, they have yet to act on several Second Amendment cases piling up on the court docket, presumably left in a holding pattern until decided. the current case. One of them concerns the challenge to the ban on magazines of 10 cartridges or more in New Jersey. Another concerns Hawaii’s open carry law. Last week, the justices met in their closed-door conference to discuss a challenge to Maryland’s assault weapons ban. “Maryland’s banned firearms, AR-15s and other similar semi-automatic rifles,” say the challengers, “are legal in the vast majority of states, have common functionality, and are owned by law-abiding Americans at least 20 millions of them.” The Supreme Court has not yet ruled on the petition.

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