The US president said the decision ‘contradicts both common sense and the Constitution’
US President Joe Biden said he was “deeply disappointed” after the Supreme Court ruled that Americans could carry guns in public without proving a particular need to do so, in a ruling that struck down a century-old New York law.
Commenting after the court voted 6-3 to strike out the firearms provision on Thursday, Biden argued that the justices had abandoned an important law that allowed the New York state government to “to protect its citizens.”
“This decision contradicts both common sense and the Constitution, and should deeply trouble us all,” he writes emphasizing “we must do more as a society – not less – to protect our fellow Americans” in light of the recent mass shootings in New York and Texas.
Passed in 1911, the law in question required New Yorkers to prove that they had a “just cause” carry a concealed firearm outside their property. In the Supreme Court’s majority opinion overturning the measure, however, Justice Clarence Thomas said the right to bear arms is guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and should not be treated as a “second class” privilege.
“The constitutional right to bear arms in public in self-defense is not ‘a second-class right subject to an entirely different set of rules than the other guarantees of the Bill of Rights,'” he said. added. he wrote. “We know of no other constitutional right that an individual can exercise only after demonstrating to government officials a special need.”
Although the latest case challenged a New York law, the decision paves the way for additional lawsuits against similar restrictions in several other states, including Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey and California.
Thursday’s decision came amid renewed debate over gun control measures in the wake of the pair of mass shootings in recent months, as the House and Senate both propose legislation that would strengthen background checks and impose a number of other restrictions on gun owners and those looking to buy guns.
Biden then urged states to “enact and enforce common sense laws to make their citizens and communities safer from gun violence,” arguing that the “The Second Amendment is not absolute.”
“For centuries, states have regulated who can buy or own guns, what kinds of guns they can use, and where they can carry those guns. And the courts have upheld those settlements,” He continued.
A dissenting opinion signed by liberal justices Sonia Sotomayor, Stephen Breyer and Elena Kagan echoed the president’s sentiments, saying the court found him “often necessary” to consider “the grave dangers and consequences of armed violence” when deciding on Second Amendment issues, upholding New York law did not violate the Constitution.