Supreme Court Ruling Overturning New York’s Conceal Carry Gun Law Roundly Rebuked

The Supreme Court decision on carrying a gun in New York is devastating and potentially dangerous.
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Photos: YouTube\Supreme Court

NEW YORK - As the gravity of today's Supreme Court 6-3 ruling in the New York Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. Bruen sinks into the minds of many New Yorkers and Americans, organizations, politicians, civil rights leaders and many others are denouncing the ruling from the right-wing conservative Court as the nation is still healing from recent mass murder shootings in Buffalo, New York and Uvalde, Texas.

In response to the decision, the New York Civil Liberties Union and the American Civil Liberties Union issued the following joint statement from Executive Director Donna Lieberman and Legal Director David Cole:

Donna Lieberman, NYCLU Executive Director:

“Forcing states to allow people to walk around with hidden weapons brings the threat of violence into everyday public spaces and stokes fears that could stop people from confidently navigating public spaces, speaking their minds, or taking action on political issues. In the midst of nationwide gun tragedies, the Supreme Court should not be striking down gun regulations that can promote open democracy, bolster public safety, and protect people’s lives. Given that states can still enforce other safety measures, we encourage and expect New York to regulate guns as effectively and fairly as possible to prevent gun violence.”

David Cole, ACLU legal director:

“Throughout American history, states have prohibited the public carrying of weapons in order to ensure public safety. As mass shootings inflict incalculable misery and pain, the Supreme Court majority has radically undermined states’ ability to maintain safety. And that safety is critical, in turn, to facilitating public debate, speech, assembly, protest and other First Amendment activities vital to our democracy. Today’s decision upends that longstanding tradition, and hamper state and local officials’ efforts to keep us all safe.”

Damon Hewitt, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, released this statement:

“At a time when we have more guns than people in this country, and when gun violence and mass shootings are at historic and horrific levels, the Supreme Court has now kneecapped efforts to get this problem under control.

"Gun violence disproportionately leads to the deaths of people of color, with Black Americans ten times more likely than white Americans to die from gun violence. Given the fact that hate crimes targeting Black and Asian Americans have also jumped in recent years, continued loosening of gun laws is especially alarming. On the heels of a string of horrific mass shootings in Buffalo, Uvalde, Dallas, Tulsa and Laguna Woods, all of which devastated communities of color, the last thing our country needs is less gun safety.

"The threat of gun violence in our country is almost paralyzing. Our most important and sacred public gathering places have been sites of mass killings. Parents are now terrified to send their children to school, churchgoers are hesitant to worship openly, and shopping is a dangerous activity.

"Justice Alito’s concurring opinion is also troubling, dismissing the pain of Black communities by saying New York’s gun law did not prevent a white supremacist from murdering Black people at a grocery store in Buffalo and would not stop similar killings elsewhere. This is precisely the type of twisted logic the gun lobby loves to see. If anything, the horror in Buffalo suggests the need for more legislation and regulation on guns–not less.”

Rev. Al Sharpton, Founder and President of the National Action Network (NAN), said the following:

“The Supreme Court decision on carrying a gun in New York is devastating and potentially dangerous. This ruling could not have come at a worse time, as we have been working to de-escalate gun violence in the city. It has never been more important for Congress to pass meaningful legislation to combat the epidemic that is gun violence in this nation.”

New York Governor Kathy Hochul, on Thursday morning, at a press conference, said in part:

"We just received some very disturbing news from Washington; that the Supreme Court of the United States of America has stripped away the state of New York's right and responsibility to protect its citizens with a decision - which we are still digesting - which is frightful in its scope of how they are setting back this nation and our ability to protect our citizens back to the days of our founding fathers. And the language we're reading is shocking.

"As Governor of the State of New York, my number one priority is to keep New Yorkers safe, but today the Supreme Court is sending us backwards in our efforts to protect families and prevent gun violence. And it's particularly painful that this came down at this moment. We are still dealing with families in pain from mass shootings that have occurred; the loss of life of their beloved children and grandchildren.

"Today, the Supreme Court struck down a New York law that limits who can carry concealed weapons.

"Does everyone understand what a concealed weapon means? That you have no forewarning that someone can hide a weapon on them and go into our subways, go into our grocery stores like stores up in Buffalo, New York, where I'm from, go into a school in Parkland or Uvalde.

"This could place millions of New Yorkers in harm's way. And this is at a time when we're still mourning the loss of lives, as I just mentioned.

"This decision, isn't just reckless, it's reprehensible. It's not what New Yorkers want. We should have the right of determination of what we want to do in terms of our gun laws in our state.

Lieutenant Governor Antonio Delgado released the following statement:

“From the streets of Harlem to the grocery stores of Buffalo, communities across New York are feeling the devastating effects of gun violence. This decision only makes it worse. New Yorkers expect their government to do more to keep communities safe. Today's decision takes away key safeguards, and leaves our communities more at risk. For over 60 years, the leading cause of death for kids and teens was car accidents. These days, the leading cause is guns - weapons of war in our communities and in our schools. Nothing about the Supreme Court's decision acknowledges this disturbing reality. To the contrary, it will only intensify the havoc and harm gun violence has caused across our state and the country. Our priority should not be the people who manufacture and market guns. Our priority ought to be making sure families are living in safe communities, without fear of gun violence. This is the case for every community in the State of New York Governor Hochul and I will do everything in our power to protect New Yorkers from this dangerous decision.”

Jo Anne Simon, Assemblymember for the 52nd District and candidate for the 10th Congressional District, said the following:

"At our backs is a cliff, the dark reality of the never-ending epidemic of gun violence in our country. In 1913, New York passed a law to make our communities safer, to move us forward, away from the edge. This Supreme Court decision is ten steps backward. New Yorkers voted for safer communities, and this Court decided their thoughts and prayers were stronger than what New Yorkers know will actually keep people safe. I'll be introducing legislation that ensures our communities stay safe.

"As a civil rights lawyer, I'm not afraid of challenging the Supreme Court. Progress sometimes happens before the Supreme Court is ready to catch up. This is one of those times. We can't wait for them to realize that this is not about gun rights it is about life and death. I'm tired of headline after headline of mass shootings, and I'm doing something about it now and will continue to do when in D.C"

Rep. Jamaal Bowman (NY-16) condemned the decision saying:

“Today’s ruling from the Supreme Court on New York’s concealed carry law is both unconscionable and unsurprising. A court hijacked by right wing extremists is hellbent on making our communities more dangerous and trampling on every citizen’s right to feel safe when they’re walking down the street, going to the grocery store, or simply dropping their kids off at school.

“The data is clear. More guns in circulation leads to more gun violence—and Black and brown communities bear the brunt of this trauma. Enough is enough.

“The Supreme Court made the wrong decision today. We don’t need anymore lip-service from people who claim to respect ‘state’s rights.’ The people of New York were clear on this issue, and today the Court spat in their faces.

“In Congress, I will fight back with every tool at my disposal and help Governor Hochul and the state legislature respond to this horrendous decision. Our families are not safe. Our kids are not safe. Black and brown communities are not safe. It’s time to fight with everything we’ve got. Our collective future is on the line.”

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