The National Rifle Association cheered the US Supreme Court's landmark ruling that expands gun rights.
NRA chief Wayne LaPierre called it "a watershed win for good men and women all across America."
The decision "brings life-saving justice to law-abiding Americans," LaPierre added.
The National Rifle Association on Thursday celebrated the Supreme Court's decision that expands gun rights, calling the 6-3 ruling a "watershed win."
"Today's ruling is a watershed win for good men and women all across America and is the result of a decades-long fight the NRA has led," Wayne LaPierre, the NRA's executive vice president and CEO, said in a statement.
The nation's highest court on Thursday declared for the first time that the US Constitution protects an individual's right to carry a gun outside the home for self-defense purposes, significantly expanding Second Amendment rights.
The court's conservative majority struck down a century-old gun-permit law in New York that required people seeking a license to carry a gun outside their homes to demonstrate a "proper cause," or a special reason, for doing so. The court's three liberal justices dissented.
The decision comes as the US experiences a spike in gun violence and both Democratic and Republican lawmakers on Capitol Hill are working to advance a bipartisan bill to respond to the crisis.
The Supreme Court challenge was brought by two New York men who applied for state permits to carry concealed guns in public for self-defense and were denied after they failed to meet the "proper cause" standard. They argued that the state rule violated their Second Amendment rights, and were backed by the NRA-affiliated New York State Rifle & Pistol Association.
LaPierre praised the landmark Supreme Court decision as a victory, saying it "brings life-saving justice to law-abiding Americans who have lived under unconstitutional regimes all across our country, particularly in cities and states with revolving door criminal justice systems, no cash bail and increased harassment of law-enforcement. "
"The right to self-defense and to defend your family and loved ones should not end at your home," he added.
In addition to New York, at least seven other states across the country — California, Massachusetts, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Hawaii — have similar concealed-carry licensing rules. They are home to around 73 million people. Thursday's ruling is expected to bring more guns into public spaces, according to legal experts.
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul, a Democrat, criticized the Supreme Court's decision and is preparing to take legislative action in response to strengthen gun safety regulations.
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