Supreme Court strikes down New York gun law, making it easier for Americans to carry handguns

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SCOTUS gun rulingThe Supreme Court on Thursday invalidated a New York law that requires state residents to have "proper cause" to carry a handgun, a decision that could make it easier for millions of Americans to arm themselves in public as the nation is reeling from a string of mass shootings.

Associate Justice Clarence Thomas wrote the opinion for a 6-3 majority.

The case was among the most closely watched this term on a docket full of culture war issues such as abortion, religious freedom and climate change. The decision had the potential to shift the landscape on Second Amendment rights at a time when Americans remain divided over access to guns.

"New York’s proper-cause requirement violates the Fourteenth Amendment in that it prevents law-abiding citizens with ordinary self-defense needs from exercising their right to keep and bear arms," Thomas wrote in an opinion joined by five other conservative justices.

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