NEW YORK, June 23 (Reuters) – After their state restrictions on carrying concealed pistols were lifted by the US Supreme Court on Thursday, top officials in New York and California said they were working on what they see as harming their gun violence efforts.
New York Governor Kathy Hochul, a Democrat who called the ruling “deeply disturbing,” said her state was prepared and will pursue compliant gun licensing policies, including measures defining “sensitive places” where guns would be banned.
Democratic leaders in California, the most populous state, had been preparing the legislation pending the decision and said they would now enact the most restrictive rules allowed under the Supreme Court ruling.
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Constitutionally enshrined gun rights are embraced by many Americans, with Republicans more than Democrats criticizing attempts to restrict ownership because they undermine citizens’ ability to protect themselves.
New York City Mayor Eric Adams, a Democrat and former police captain, predicted that more disputes would turn into violence as it becomes easier to carry a gun in the city of more than 8 million, the most populous city in New York. the country.
“This decision has made us all less safe from gun violence,” Adams said at a news conference. “The decision ignores the shocking crisis of gun violence that is sweeping not only New York every day, but our entire country.”
So far this year, 693 people have been shot in his city, according to official statistics that include both fatal and nonfatal shootings, down about 9% from 765 in the same period last year.
Recurring mass shootings across the United States, including one on May 14 at a grocery store in Buffalo, New York, where 10 black people were killed by an outspoken white supremacist. He was charged with murder and domestic terrorism motivated by hate. read more
The Supreme Court first ruled that the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which protects the right to “keep and bear arms” and was ratified in 1791, guaranteed an individual right to bear arms in public for self-defense. read more
The court’s conservative majority ruled that New York State’s system of issuing covert carrying licenses only to people who could prove they had “the right reason” was unconstitutional.
In California, where a law required permit seekers to show “good reasons,” Attorney General Rob Bonta said he acknowledged the provision was no longer constitutional.
But “the court didn’t interfere with California’s long-standing efforts to prevent dangerous individuals from getting these permits,” Bonta said.
He said the legislation filed pending the ruling will now be amended to closely follow Supreme Court guidelines about who can be denied a concealed carry permit and where concealed weapons can be banned, such as schools, courthouses and polling stations.
Californians are also proposing to include “a hazard assessment” in the assessment of concealed carry license applicants.
“The assessment will be robust, including looking at arrests, convictions, restraining orders and other publicly available information that could suggest a person poses a danger to themselves or others,” Bonta said.
DEATH OF GUN
Bonta said California’s restrictive gun laws are working, citing US government data on the death rate from firearms, which ranks the state 44th out of 50 states. The firearms fatality rate in California was 8.5 per 100,000 people — compared with 13.7 deaths per 100,000 nationally and 28.6 in Mississippi, the highest for any state.
New York state was the 46th lowest at 5.3.
New York and California are among the six states and the District of Columbia with laws affected by the ruling.
Paige Graves, the general advisor to the New York transit system, said the Metropolitan Transportation Authority has begun to put in place “appropriate rules to keep dangerous weapons out of our subways, buses and commuter trains.”
Tom King, president of the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association, one of the plaintiffs in the Supreme Court case, said he would legally challenge such a transit ban.
“I didn’t see anything in the Supreme Court ruling that you can carry concealed anywhere except the subway,” he said.
Hochul proposed changes to the state’s licensing process that would create a “higher threshold” for concealed carry licenses and require firearms training. She said she wants weapons to be banned from private companies unless the entrepreneur expressly decides otherwise.
Her office said that as of Thursday, New Yorkers still needed to apply for a concealed-carrying permit, but more will likely be granted because an applicant no longer has to provide a specific justification for wanting a self-defense weapon.
New York City public defenders groups had supported gun rights plaintiffs in the case, saying they were representing clients, especially black and Latino New Yorkers, who otherwise obeyed the law but had been prosecuted for obtaining a gun. for self-defense or who were unjustly denied a permit.
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Reporting by Jonathan Allen in New York; additional reporting by Andrew Hay in Taos, New Mexico, and Daniel Trotta in Carlsbad, California; adaptation by Will Dunham and Donna Bryson
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