By Michael Lee Moore, The Associated PressThe Supreme Court struck down a key part of the 1994 Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, the nation’s most restrictive gun control law, on Monday.
The court said it was reviewing whether states can pass laws requiring people who buy firearms to register them with the federal government.
The decision effectively means the law’s provisions will go into effect.
The Supreme of the United States is expected to hear arguments in the case this month.
The Brady Law required all firearms to be registered with the government, but some states didn’t have the resources to do so.
It was a key piece of the legislation that prevented mass shootings like those in Newtown, Conn., in December 2012, when 26 people were killed by gunman Adam Lanza.
The ruling, written by Justice Elena Kagan, says that the Brady Law’s requirement that states provide background checks to all gun buyers applies to those who are already licensed to own firearms.
The law also required gun buyers to report all firearms they own to the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Justice Department said.
The justices upheld a lower court ruling that said states cannot require all gun owners to get a federal background check.
The gun law also created a federal database that tracks the ownership and transfer of guns, a requirement that is meant to prevent the trafficking of guns.
The law also included restrictions on ammunition and restricted the types of guns that could be carried without a license.
The appeals court said the Brady Act also did not apply to individuals who had already been licensed to buy a gun or those who had been denied a gun license because they were mentally ill or committed crimes.
“A federal database can only serve to create a national database of the ownership, transfer, and disposition of firearms, and it cannot serve to enforce existing gun laws,” Kagan wrote.
The case involved a dispute over whether to require states to keep records of gun purchases, a law that is generally thought to be necessary for gun control.
Lawyers for the state of New York and gun rights groups said in a statement that the court was wrong to say that states cannot enact gun laws.
The New York case, which was brought by the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, involved the sale of a handgun to a convicted felon.
The buyer was a convicted drunk driver, but the seller was not.
The Justice Department had argued that the states could have done so because the federal law didn’t require the state to keep such records.
The state’s attorney general said the state did not have the authority to require a seller to keep the records.