The US Supreme Court has thrown out a ban on handguns in New York, California, Connecticut, and other states, and this decision could affect other states as well. U.S. President Joe Biden is “deeply disappointed” with the decision, and he is continuing to look for executive action to stop gun violence. He has also encouraged states to pass similar legislation.
The court has already thrown out some gun restrictions. In one case, the court tossed out key parts of the District of Columbia’s handgun ban, which banned almost all handguns in the city. The ban required gun owners to store firearms unloaded, disassembled, and bound with a trigger lock. This decision paved the way for more gun-rights laws around the country.
In its decision, the Court cited the Second Amendment to define a constitutional test for a gun regulation. To pass, the restriction must be similar to restrictions on arms in American history. The Second Amendment, for instance, was ratified in the 18th century, while New York’s current gun license rules were codified in 1913. As such, a gun restriction could violate the second amendment or any other constitutional right.
New York’s ban on handguns will also affect daycare centers, hospitals, zoos, and public transportation. The NYSRPA has said it will file suit against the ban on guns in public transportation on the subway system. Despite the ban, New York would be the first state to enact a rule that says guns are welcomed in places of business. However, gun-free places in other states such as Connecticut and Massachusetts require signs to let patrons know they are allowed.
The US Supreme Court threw out rulings upholding gun restrictions in California and Connecticut, and has now ordered lower courts to revisit the decision in those cases. It is unclear whether the Supreme Court will review the California ban, but the ruling is likely to be upheld by the highest court in the country. If the California ban is overturned, gun owners will likely appeal to the Supreme Court, which has a conservative majority.
This case highlights the importance of judicial review of laws on guns and firearms. The court has already ruled that the Armed Career Criminal Act, also known as the ACCA, requires at least 15 years of imprisonment for unlawfully possessing a firearm. For a third time, a gun possession conviction will be a mandatory 15-year sentence.
Biden’s strategy of avoiding discussions on gun control has largely succeeded. The Senate is poised to pass a bipartisan bill, encouraging states to enforce their own gun laws. The legislation would require background checks for gun owners and impose stricter rules for firearms purchases in areas of high crime. It also calls for Congress to repeal the 2005 law that gave immunity to the gun industry.