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United States: the right to carry weapons outside the home enshrined by the Supreme Court

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Published on: 06/23/2022 – 18:37 The American Supreme Court sanctioned, on Thursday, the carrying of weapons outside the home by invalidating a law of the State of New York. A decision taken as the country was recently marked by a series of deadly shootings, including one in an elementary school in Texas. The governor of New York lamented “a dark day”, while the NRA, a powerful arms lobby, hailed a “victory”. The Supreme Court of the United States invalidated, Thursday, June 23, a law of the State of New York on the carrying of weapons, devoting in passing the right of Americans to leave their homes armed. This decision, taken at a majority of six out of nine justices, all conservative, comes as the country is still reeling from a series of deadly shootings, one of which, on May 24, left 21 dead at a Texas elementary school. “The second and the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution protect an individual’s right to carry a handgun for self-defense outside the home,” Justice Clarence Thomas wrote for the majority. The Court acts “without considering the potentially deadly consequences of his decision”, regretted his progressive colleague Stephen Breyer in a separate argument, recalling that “in 2020, 45,222 Americans were killed by firearms”. Following this decision, the American president Joe Biden said he was “deeply disappointed” by a decision “contrary to common sense”. The NRA hails a “victory” The powerful arms lobby, the National Rifle Association (NRA), meanwhile immediately hailed a “victory”. a snub for supporters of a better framework for firearms, whose efforts it will complicate. Concretely, it relates to a law which, since 1913, has limited the issuance of permits to carry concealed weapons to people who have reason to believe that they may have to defend themselves, for example because of their profession or threats against them. It had been challenged in court by two gun owners, who had been denied licenses, and an affiliate of the NRA. The NRA advocates for a literal reading of the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution. Ratified in 1791, he stated that “a well-organized militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms will not be infringed”. In 1939, the Supreme Court had held that it protected the right to use arms as part of a law enforcement force, such as the army or the police, but was not an individual right to self-defense. She changed her stance in a historic 2008 shutdown and established for the first time a right to own a gun in her home for self-defense. She left it to cities and states, however, to regulate transportation outside the home, so the rules vary widely from place to place. Thursday’s ruling puts an end to that leeway by setting in stone the right to carry a gun. First, it should knock down laws similar to New York’s in force in other states, some of which cities like California or New Jersey. Other restrictions in effect mainly in Democratic states could be challenged in court under this new legal framework. The governor of New York laments “a dark day”It is “scandalous, absolutely outrageous that they took away our rights to enjoy sensible restrictions” on guns, Kathy Hochul, the chief executive of New York, one of the toughest states in the United States, told reporters. carrying firearms. “I am sorry that this dark day has come,” added the elected Democrat. For his part, the mayor of New York, Eric Adams, said he feared that the Supreme Court judgment would fuel “a wave gun violence.” “We will cooperate to address the risks created by this decision once implemented because we cannot let New York turn into the Wild West,” said the Democratic city councilor, a former police officer who has made combating gun violence the backbone of its mandate. In 2017, nearly 400 million guns were in circulation among the civilian population in the United States, or 120 guns for every 100 people, according to the Small Arms Survey project. Last year, more than 20,000 gun homicides were recorded on the Gun Violence Archive. With AFP

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