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US Supreme Court Strikes Down New York Gun Law.

Posted on 24th June 2022

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The BBC reports here on the recent decision by the US Supreme Court to overturn New York's gun control legislation, declaring it unconstitutional.

I find this very sad in the light of the recent school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, and hard to fathom, even though the court was loaded with Republican justices during the Trump administration.

The court found that laws to restrict gun ownership breached the second amendment to the US Constitution, which states "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." Interpretations vary, but a commonly held understanding is that people have the right to bear arms in the context of a well regulated militia. That does not imply that the have the right to:

  • Privately own guns,
  • Carry guns if not a member of a well regulated militia,
  • Carry guns when not engaged in the business of a well regulated militia.

There is legislation similar to that in New York in states including California and New Jersey, affecting about a quarter of Americans. All such laws are now at risk.

What will it take for America to get over their love affair with guns and put some sensible legislation in place? Other countries manage perfectly well without widespread gun ownership. My family traditionally hunted (deer, rabbits, pheasants and the like) and were able to own guns (rifles and shotguns) for hunting as long as they had licences and kept the guns secure.