The American Supreme Court in the opposite direction to Congress, on weapons

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On Thursday, the US Supreme Court overturned a New York state law that restricted the rights of firearm owners. The decision, determined by the majority of conservative judges currently present in the Court, goes in the opposite direction to what is happening in Congress: these days the Senate is approving a bipartisan bill to introduce some restrictions on the sale and possession of weapons. When it goes into effect (it is fairly certain that it will also be passed by the House) it will become the most important firearms law for decades in the United States, as Democrats and Republicans are usually strongly divided on the issue.

The Court’s decision represents the first enlargement of the rights of firearms owners since 2010.

The law that the Supreme Court eliminated provided that in New York state, in order to carry weapons with you in public spaces without clearly displaying them, it was necessary to have a special permit, granted only for “just cause”. This law had been in force for more than a century but according to 6 out of 9 judges it violates the American Constitution, and specifically the Second Amendment, which guarantees the right to possess weapons.

The Supreme Court ruled on New York law because of the lawsuit filed by two men resident in the state and holders of a recreational gun license: they had applied for permission to carry firearms in public spaces , their permission had been denied and the two had appealed. “Given that the state of New York only grants licenses for public spaces when the applicant demonstrates a particular need for self-defense, we conclude that the state’s firearms regime violates the Constitution,” explained Judge Clarence Thomas. on behalf of the 6 conservative judges.

In recent months, the political debate on weapons has restarted after the umpteenth massacres: that of May 14, when an 18-year-old killed 10 African American people in a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, and that of May 25, when another 18-year-old he had killed 19 children and two teachers at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.

The court’s decision jeopardizes laws similar to New York state laws in other parts of America: California, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts and New Jersey. New York State Governor Kathy Hochul, Democrat, criticized the Supreme Court: “It is outrageous that in a moment of national awareness of gun violence the Supreme Court has recklessly eliminated a New York law limiting the number of people who can carry hidden weapons “.

In the United States, the civilian population – approximately 330 million inhabitants – possesses more than 390 million firearms; in 2020, more than 45,000 people died from gunshot wounds in the country.

The bill under discussion in the Senate will give authorities up to 10 working days to check for criminal records and information on the mental health of people under 21 interested in buying a weapon (the minimum age for purchase is 18 years), will fund the temporary confiscation of weapons owned by people considered dangerous with millions of dollars, and will expand the current arms purchase ban aimed at people convicted of domestic abuse.

The article is in Italian

Tags: American Supreme Court direction Congress weapons

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