In response to the mass killing in Orlando, the UN’s top human rights official on Tuesday urged [press release] the US to increase its gun control measures. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein [official website] stated [UN News Centre report] that the US must “live up to its obligations to protect its citizens from the ‘horrifyingly commonplace but preventable violent attacks that are the direct result of insufficient gun control.'” This coincides with a new UN human rights report [text, PDF] that highlights the impact of gun violence on human rights. This comes after 49 people were killed [CNN report] by a single gunman in a gay nightclub in Florida over the weekend.
Gun control [JURIST backgrounder] and the Second Amendment continue to be controversial topics across the US. Last month the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that the Second Amendment protects the right to buy and sell guns [JURIST report]. In February the US Supreme Court heard arguments [JURIST report] in a case addressing firearm possession for people convicted of domestic violence misdemeanors. In January US President Barack Obama announced executive actions on gun control [JURIST report]. In November an appellate court in Wisconsin ruled that a state law that prohibits possession of certain knives [JURIST report] violates the Second Amendment right to bear arms.