The US Supreme Court has Thursday a law deleted which restricts the possession of firearms in New York State. The law, enacted in 1913, required residents to have a permit to carry a gun in public and laid down a number of obligations to obtain it. According to a majority of six of the nine chief justices, this law violates the Constitution’s Second Amendment, which allows civilians to bear arms.

    Chief Justice Clarence Thomas drafted the ruling. “We know of no other constitutional right that can only be exercised after someone demonstrates a special need to do so to government officials,” he wrote, referring to the stipulated obligations for obtaining a gun license. They would go against the constitution, because “law-abiding citizens with ordinary self-defense needs” would no longer simply be able to exercise “their right to have and bear arms.”

    It is an important statement on a subject that is already under tension in the United States. After every mass shooting, sounds are made to limit US firearms possession – including two mass shootings in May. In Texas, an 18-year-old killed 21 people at a school, in New York, an 18-year-old perpetrator also killed at least 10 people in an attempt to kill as many black people as possible. Activists seeking to curb gun ownership in the US almost always oppose the strong US gun lobby organization National Rifle Association (NRA).

    The New York case was brought by two men who had not been licensed by the state to carry firearms in public outside their own homes. They were supported by the NRA.