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Supreme Court bolsters gun owners' right to carry a weapon in public

David G. Savage, Los Angeles Times on

Published in News & Features

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Thursday ruled 6-3 for gun rights advocates and struck down as too strict laws in New York, California and six other states that deny permits to carry a concealed weapon if gun owners cannot show they have a special need to be armed in public.

The court’s conservative majority said the Constitution requires these laws take into account the rights of gun owners, and not merely local officials, county sheriffs or others who fear that too many guns on the street are a threat to public safety.

Thursday’s ruling in a New York case is the most significant victory for gun rights since 2008, when the justices for the first time ruled the 2nd Amendment protects an individual’s right to to have a gun and not just states’ right to maintain a “well-regulated militia.”

It also reflects how President Donald Trump’s three appointees have shifted the court to the right. In the past decade, the court had turned away challenges to the permitting laws in California and elsewhere. But the arrival of Justices Brett M. Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett created a majority to bolster the right to carry a gun.


Gun control advocates had said they feared a high court ruling upholding the right to be armed in public could lead to a massive increase in the number of guns on the street in major cities.

The case was New York State Rifle & Pistol Association vs. Bruen.

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