Supreme Court rules Americans have right to carry guns in public

accreditation
0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
A view of the US Supreme Court Building.
A view of the US Supreme Court Building.
Brandon Bell / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty
  • The US Supreme Court has ruled that residents are able to carry firearms in public.
  • The landmark ruling was made on Thursday.
  • The court struck down a New York law that required people to have a self-defence reason for carrying a gun.

The US Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that Americans have a fundamental right to carry firearms in public in a landmark decision.

The 6-3 ruling strikes down a New York law that required a person to prove they had legitimate self-defence needs to receive a gun permit and will prevent states from restricting people carrying guns.

Despite a growing call for limits on firearms after two mass shootings in May stunned the country, the court sided with advocates who said the US Constitution guarantees the right to own and carry guns.

The ruling is the first by the court in a major Second Amendment case in a decade and a victory for the powerful gun lobby, the National Rifle Association.

"Today's ruling is a watershed win for good men and women all across America and is the result of a decades-long fight the NRA has led," NRA executive vice president Wayne LaPierre said in a statement.

PICS | Man chains neck to US Supreme Court fence to protest abortion rights

"The right to self-defence and to defend your family and loved ones should not end at your home."

Justice Clarence Thomas, who wrote the majority opinion, said "the Second and Fourteenth Amendments protect an individual's right to carry a handgun for self-defense outside the home.

"New York's proper-cause requirement violates the Fourteenth Amendment by preventing law-abiding citizens with ordinary self-defense needs from exercising their Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms in public for self-defense."

The US Senate is currently considering a rare bipartisan bill that includes modest gun control measures.

On 14 May, an 18-year-old used an AR-15-type assault rifle to kill 10 African Americans at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York.

Less than two weeks later 19 children and two teachers were shot and killed at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, by another teen with the same type of high-powered, semi-automatic rifle.

The New York law said that to be given a permit to carry a firearm outside the home, a gun owner must clearly demonstrate that it is explicitly needed for self-defense - meaning those without the demonstrated need could not do so.

Gun-rights advocates said that violated the Second Amendment of the Constitution, which says "the right of people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."

READ | UK allows for Julian Assange's extradition to the US

More than half of US states already allow permitless carry of firearms, most of them only doing so in the past decade.

But more than 20 still maintain restrictions which they could now be forced to abandon based on the court's ruling.

In the ruling, the court overturned a New York state law dating to 1913 that had stood based on the understanding that individual states had the right to regulate gun usage and ownership.

Over the past two decades more than 200 million guns have hit the US market, led by assault rifles and personal handguns, feeding a surge in murders, mass shootings and suicides.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
How do you plan on surviving the latest fuel price hikes?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Ditching my car and using public transport
3% - 39 votes
Staying home so I don't have to fill up
19% - 239 votes
There's no escaping the cost of living crisis
78% - 1007 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
16.40
-0.3%
Rand - Pound
19.66
+0.6%
Rand - Euro
16.88
+0.9%
Rand - Aus dollar
11.12
+0.9%
Rand - Yen
0.12
-0.1%
Gold
1,797.77
-0.6%
Silver
19.72
-1.3%
Palladium
1,925.25
-0.5%
Platinum
872.50
-1.6%
Brent Crude
113.50
+1.7%
Top 40
59,766
-1.9%
All Share
65,856
-1.7%
Resource 10
60,885
-4.3%
Industrial 25
80,884
-0.4%
Financial 15
14,582
-1.7%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE