The court's conservative majority ruled for the first time that the US constitution grants an individual the right to carry weapons in public for self-defense.

New York's Democratic leaders have decried the ruling and the court, saying there will be more gun violence if there are more people carrying guns.

They conceded they must loosen the state's century-old permit scheme to comply with the ruling, but sought to keep as many restrictions as they could in the name of public safety. Some will likely be targets for further legal challenges.

The court ruled that New York's former license regime, which dates from 1911, gave too much discretion to officials to deny a permit.

New York governor Kathy Hochul, a Democrat who ordered the extraordinary session in the legislature, said the state's gun-licensing regulations had resulted in New York having the fifth-lowest rate of gun deaths of the 50 US states.

"Our state will continue to keep New Yorkers safe from harm, even despite this setback from the Supreme Court," she told a news conference in the state capital, Albany, while lawmakers were debating the bill. "They may think they can change our lives with the stroke of a pen, but we have pens, too."

The court's ruling allowed that people could be banned from carrying weapons in certain "sensitive places" but warned lawmakers against applying the label too broadly.

The court also made it easier for pro-gun groups to have a regulation overturned. It ruled that a weapons regulation was likely unconstitutional if it was not similar to the sort of regulations around in the 18th century, when the US Constitution's second amendment, which lets states maintain militias and defines a right to "keep and bear Arms," was ratified.