In an eagerly awaited decision, the US Supreme Court has cleared the way for relaxation of gun laws.

Six out of nine chief justices on Thursday ruled that a New York state statute that requires private individuals to provide good cause to obtain permission to carry (concealed) handguns on the street is unconstitutional. In the eyes of the six conservative judges, this violates two constitutional amendments.

Roughly a month after the Buffalo and Uvalde massacres and as the US Senate grapples with tougher gun laws, this is a major setback for advocates of stricter regulation. The ruling could set a precedent for other states. Two gun owners and the NRA lobby organization had sued.

The NRA celebrated its “victory” on Twitter, while New York Governor Kathy Hochul spoke of a “black day”.

Conservative justices have dominated the Supreme Court since former President Donald Trump was in office. Three of the judges were appointed by Trump, who campaigned for gun owners and is a life member of the NRA.

An important decision on abortion law is also expected in the coming days. The conservative majority of the Supreme Court is expected to overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling that secures the federal right to an abortion.

The decision on gun law falls in the decisive phase in the fight for a planned tightening of gun law. The 80-page bill drafted by senators from both parties, which includes expanded background checks on gun buyers under the age of 21 and billions for school safety and better mental health care in the country, cleared a first hurdle on Wednesday evening. In a preliminary vote, 64 senators voted in favor and 34 against.

The fact that it has already been significantly defused speaks in favor of the law being passed. For example, US President Joe Biden’s campaign promise to ban the sale of assault rifles to private individuals is not included.

Two serious attacks in May had fueled the debate in the United States about tightening gun laws. In the state of New York, an 18-year-old murdered ten people in front of and in a supermarket with an assault rifle, apparently with racist motives. A few years later, an 18-year-old killed 19 children and two teachers at an elementary school in the small Texas town of Uvalde.