The US Supreme Court ruled Thursday that Americans have a right to carry firearms outside the home.
The landmark decision came weeks after another deadly school shooting.
The 6-3 ruling overturns a New York law that required an individual to prove they had legitimate self-defense needs to receive a gun permit and will prevent states from restricting people carrying guns.
The court found that the law, enacted in 1913, violated a person’s right to keep and bear arms under the U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment.
Gun rights, held dear by many Americans and promised by the country’s 18th-century founders, are a contentious issue in a nation with high levels of firearms violence including numerous mass shootings.
In recent weeks, 19 children and two teachers were killed on May 24 at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, and 10 people were slain on May 14 at a grocery store in Buffalo, New York.
President Joe Biden, who has called gun violence a national embarrassment, condemned the decision.
“I’m deeply disappointed by the Supreme Court’s ruling in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen. This ruling contradicts common sense and the Constitution, and should deeply trouble us all. I remain committed to doing everything in my power to reduce gun violence,” Biden said in a statement on Twitter.
I'm deeply disappointed by the Supreme Court’s ruling in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen. This ruling contradicts common sense and the Constitution, and should deeply trouble us all.
I remain committed to doing everything in my power to reduce gun violence.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) June 23, 2022
The ruling underscored how the court’s conservative majority is sympathetic to an expansive reading of Second Amendment rights.
It represented the court’s most important statement on gun rights in more than a decade. The court in 2008 recognized for the first time a person’s right to keep guns at home for self-defense in a District of Columbia case, and in 2010 applied that right to the states.