The US Supreme Court has struck down a New York law restricting gun carrying rights.
The law required residents who want a licence to prove “proper cause” to carry concealed weapons and that they faced “a special or unique” danger.
The 6-3 decision stated the requirement violates the Constitutional right to bear arms.
The ruling jeopardises similar restrictions in other states and expands gun rights.
Justice Clarence Thomas, writing for the six-justice conservative majority on the court, held that Americans have a right to carry “commonly used” firearms in public for personal defence.
he noted that the Second Amendment right to bear arms is not a “second class” constitutional right subject to greater restrictions “than other Bill of Rights guarantees.”
The liberal justices Elena Kagan, Sonia Sotomayor and Stephen Breyer dissented.
The Supreme Court’s decision comes amid renewed intensity in the debate over gun rights as high profile shootings – including at a primary school in Uvalde, Texas and a grocery store in Buffalo, New York last month – have energised gun rights supporters and gun control activists alike.
Ahead of the Supreme Court ruling, the US Senate had announced steps towards new legislation tightening access to firearms.
However, Thursday’s decision from the top US court continued a steady pattern of rulings that have expanded gun rights, holding that the right to carry firearms both at home and in public is enshrined in the Second Amendment to the US Constitution.