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The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that Americans have a right to carry firearms in public for self-defense — a major expansion of gun rights.
The court struck down a New York gun law in a ruling expected to directly impact half a dozen other populous states. This decision, which loosens certain guns laws, comes at the same time Congress is getting ready to tighten others.
A landmark package of gun safety policies cleared another committee vote Thursday. It would strengthen background checks for gun buyers under 21 and fund mental health and school safety initiatives.
Because of the level of support it’s already getting, the bill is expected to eventually pass.
Meantime, the Supreme Court voted 6-3 to strike down park of New York’s concealed carry law. It required gun owners to show “proper cause” to carry a handgun in public for self-defense — something the justices ruled is unconstitutional.
Justice Clarence Thomas wrote, “We know of no other constitutional right that an individual may exercise only after demonstrating to government officers some special need.”
Notably, there is no such requirement to show “proper cause” in Florida, but the Sunshine State does require a permit before carrying concealed firearms.
It’s something that Gov. Ron DeSantis has said he wants to do away with — and make Florida the 26th “constitutional carry” state.
We spoke with some Northeast Florida residents. Some said they’re OK with Florida’s requirement of a permit.
“I think that everyone should be able to have a gun, but for concealed carry, I think a permit, you have to — I think someone should show proficiency if they’re going to carry it out in public,” said resident Mark Missigman.
Carlos Perez said he doesn’t really think about gun laws much, which he said is a good thing.
“Whatever they have now, I think is, as far as I know, fine,” Perez said.
One man visiting from the United Kingdom asked we not use his name. The UK is a nation with a far lower rate of gun ownership and much stricter gun control laws.
“There are strict gun laws where everybody has to have a permit, and they have to undergo local and government checks in order to receive a license to have a firearm,” he said.
When asked if he felt unsafe as a citizen in the U.K., he answered, “No.”
In the dissent opinion, Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer pointed to the 277 mass shootings across the country so far this year, including Uvalde and Buffalo. Those are the shootings in which four or more are shot.