The U.S. Supreme Court stepped back into the heated debate over gun rights on Monday, agreeing to hear a challenge backed by the National Rifle Association to New York state's restrictions on people carrying concealed handguns in public.
Lower courts rejected the argument made by two gun owners and the NRA's New York affiliate that the restrictions violated the Constitution's Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. The Supreme Court will hear the appeal next term, which begins in October.
The case could lead to the most consequential ruling on the scope of the Second Amendment in more than a decade.
Reuters Correspondent Andrew Chung covers the Supreme Court.
CHUNG: "This case is very significant because it's a major gun rights case. And, since the court issued its last landmark rulings on gun rights more than a decade ago, the court has shifted in membership. It now has a 6-3 conservative majority and they are seen as having a sympathetic view toward an expanded level of gun rights. Gun control advocates are worried about this case. They see that in states and municipalities around the country, they see that gun control laws have been put in place, and they see this conservative majority as putting those regulations and those laws at risk."
The debate over gun control in the United States has intensified after a series of recent mass shootings.
PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: "It's a national embarrassment."
A day after the April 15 mass shooting in Indianapolis, where a gunman killed eight employees at a FedEx facility and then himself, President Joe Biden called on Congress to enact stronger gun control measures.
Major policy changes would require congressional passage, and Senate Republicans stand in the way of Democratic-backed gun control measures already passed in the House of Representatives.