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Democrats seek new ways to restrict gun use after Supreme Court ruling
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Democratic lawmakers have vowed to retaliate after the Supreme Court struck down century-old restrictions on the carrying of concealed weapons in New York, a move that could weaken gun laws in several different states at a time of violence growing army.

The Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that New York’s requirement that people must demonstrate a specific need to carry a concealed weapon was unconstitutional. The law had been in place since 1913. Five other states — California, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Maryland and Hawaii — place similar restrictions on the gun licensing process. These state laws could face imminent legal challenges.

Minutes after the decision, New York Governor Kathy Hochul (D) replied angrily“This decision is not only reckless, it is reprehensible,” she said. “We don’t need people walking into our subways, our restaurants, our movie theaters with concealed weapons.”

Hochul said the decision “could put millions of New Yorkers at risk” at a time when “we still mourn the loss of life” in the mass shootings in Buffalo and Uvalde, Texas.

She said she plans to call the Democratic-controlled state legislature into special session as early as next month to enact new gun restrictions. Measures being considered could include banning the carrying of concealed weapons in sensitive locations and private businesses, as well as increasing training requirements for holders of such permits, Hochul said..

Supreme Court finds New York law violates the right to bear arms outside the home

President Biden also denounced the court’s decision, saying in a statement that it “contradicts both common sense and the Constitution, and should trouble us all deeply.”

The Supreme Court’s decision came the same day a bipartisan majority in Congress proposed a set of modest adjustments to existing gun laws, including improved background checks on gun buyers under 21 years and closing a loophole that had allowed some violent national-offenders to buy guns.

For officials in liberal regions for whom this rare congressional action was seen as evidence of a slight momentum on gun restrictions, the Supreme Court’s decision proved a reality check.

Experts said Thursday’s decision would open the door to a series of future litigation aimed at weakening gun restrictions. The current conservative supermajority on the Supreme Court has “emboldened gun rights advocates to push harder than ever,” said UCLA law professor Adam Winkler. “This case shows they are likely to succeed.”

California Governor Gavin Newsom (D) said Thursday’s 6-to-3 decision was a “dangerous decision by a court determined to pursue a radical ideological agenda.”

The Supreme Court ruled that “states can no longer decide for themselves how best to limit the proliferation of firearms in the public sphere.” said New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D). “Make no mistake, this dangerous decision will make America less safe.

Perhaps no elected official expressed greater concern about the consequences of the decision than New York City Mayor Eric Adams.

For months, Adams (D) has warned of the case’s potential impact on the nation’s most populous city, saying the impending decision kept him awake at night, though its outlines remained unclear.

On Thursday, after the decision was released, Adams asked his chief legal counsel to rate the decision on a scale of 1 to 10 in terms of the level of concern for the city. The answer: “very close to a 10,” Adams told reporters.

“We can say with certainty that this decision has made each of us less immune to gun violence,” Adams said.

This sentiment was echoed by New York Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell. “When we open up the universe of transport permits, it potentially brings more guns to New York City,” Sewell said.

Adams said that following the decision, the city should revisit its plans for using scanning technology to detect guns in subways. He promised to work with lawmakers at all levels of government in New York to “limit the risk this decision will create.”

Other mayors who condemned the court’s decision included Buffalo leaders, Baltimore and philadelphia cream. In Buffalo, a city still reeling from last month’s racist attack that left 10 people dead, Mayor Byron Brown (I) said he was “disappointed and alarmed” by the decision.

Earlier this month, New York became the first state to enact new gun restrictions following mass shootings in Buffalo and Uvalde. Changes included raising the minimum age to purchase a semi-automatic rifle to 21. (The shooter in Texas and the shooter charged in New York were 18 years old.)

Thursday’s court ruling focused on concealed weapons regulations, which differ from state to state. In 25 states, people can carry concealed weapons in public without a permit. The other states require a permit, but only six of them — plus the District of Columbia — have allowed authorities to deny permits if the applicant is deemed unsuitable or cannot demonstrate a specific need.

Republican officials, meanwhile, expressed satisfaction with the decision. At an event in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Governor Ron DeSantis, a potential GOP candidate for president in 2024, hailed what he called “a great decision.”

Some states, like New York, “just don’t want people to be able to exercise their rights,” DeSantis said. “And here’s what I would tell you: a lot of people who move here from there do it because they don’t feel safe in a lot of their communities. Thus, all of their policies have been a total failure when it comes to public safety.

Oklahoma Attorney General John O’Connor has praised the High Court for ensuring the right to bear arms is “not a ‘second class’ right that can be trampled on by governments on a headbutt”.

Representative Elise Stefanik, one of seven Republicans on the 29-member congressional delegation from New York, said in an interview with Fox News that the decision was “historic” and “a victory for gun owners. law-abiding”.

Tim Craig in Fort Lauderdale and Emmanuel Felton in New York contributed reporting.


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