Irish expert reacts to US Supreme Court decision to overturn New York gun laws

Gun Rights

The US Supreme Court’s decision to strike down a New York law that placed restrictions on carrying concealed firearms in public for self defence has been met with outrage.

The law was aimed at changing New York state’s limits on carrying concealed handguns outside the home.

The court ruled that it violated a person’s right to “keep and bear arms,” under the US constitution’s second amendment.

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Speaking this morning on Newstalk Breakfast, Larry Donnelly, a Law Lecturer in NUIG, said that the court is buying into an argument being pushed by lawyers for the gun lobby.

“It all depends on how one reads it – the reality is that 10 years ago in the Heller decision, the court found that there was a right for individuals to keep and bear arms themselves.

“In some respects this decision is a logical extension of that.

“The conservative court… is buying into an argument being pushed by lawyers for the gun lobby that this is a constitutional right, not a privilege.”

It also comes after the US Senate passed new gun safety legislation, which Larry described as being “minimal” and sending it to the House of Representatives for further approval.

Seen as the first significant gun control legislation in years, the bill included tougher background checks for younger would-be gun owners and measures to keep guns away from more domestic violence offenders.

Larry believes that the current laws around guns are not “reflecting what the public mood in the public opinion is,” leaving other states’ open to challenge and change.

“And also I think more broadly, gun laws across the United States – the NRA and others – are going to be looking at any new restrictions in light of the court’s decision here with a view to striking them down.”


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