New York leaders fear a Supreme Court ruling overturning state restrictions on handguns could lead to an increase in gun crime
A Supreme Court ruling on the legality of New York’s gun licensing system could come as soon as this week, with some in the state concerned that a decision to overturn the state’s law could make it easier to access to firearms and that gun-related crime is no longer common.
“We’re going to look at the decision because the decision could be on many different levels. We’re going to look at the decision and see what powers we have and what will we need from our federal lawmakers to kind of put laws in place that could prevent the Supreme Court’s decision from having an impact on our cities,” he said.
Officials stressed that even if this changes, it will not happen overnight and that there will be some time for everyone to acclimatize.
New York does not allow people to carry guns outside their homes unless they have first shown the state a “good reason” to carry a gun; the question before the court is whether licensed firearms holders who wish to carry a firearm would have to prove to the state that they need to carry a firearm. If the court makes it easier to get a concealed carry permit, authorities expect more people to conceal and carry weapons.
“Next thing you know, people are going to try to be super cops and take matters into their own hands. Now you have a shooting incident that didn’t warrant that kind of outcome,” Harrison said. “There are a lot of violent incidents that come from people carrying guns. Are they properly trained? Are they going to take matters into their own hands? Untrained people, taking matters into their own hands, are a concern.”
Law enforcement groups divided on the issue
A ruling that overturns New York’s law could lead to many more people concealing and carrying guns in New York by making the licensing process easier for would-be gun carriers and limiting the state’s ability to refuse. permits.
Harrison said firearms complicate the police response to any incident.
“Think of the police officer who sees a person carrying a gun, what disadvantage do you put that officer who is used to dealing with people in a certain way who is carrying a gun. Now, we’re going to be in a state of confusion,” Harrison said.
Prosecutor concerned about ‘ramifications’
“I don’t know what this will do for current cases,” Clark said. “I don’t know if a defense attorney will say ‘it was illegal, but now my client wants to apply for a license’. I don’t know what the ramifications will be.”
So far this year, 216 people have been shot in the Bronx and police have recovered 552 firearms during arrests, according to Clark. And while some want to carry a gun for protection, Clark says carrying a gun doesn’t make you safer.
“They could also be killed,” she said. “Just because you have a gun doesn’t mean you’re safer than someone else. In the cases we have right now, both sides have guns and both sides make each other kill.”
Clark added that even if someone with a gun intervened, it wouldn’t necessarily make things better.
“That good guy with a gun could still be a good guy with a gun but also hurt someone else,” Clark said, adding that many of the victims who were shot were hit by bullets. lost. “Even with the police there is friendly fire. Guns are dangerous in the hands of anyone.”
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg sent a memo to his aides detailing a game plan after the Supreme Court issued its opinion.
In the memo, emailed to staffers on June 1, Bragg says prosecutors are not only preparing for the types of lawsuits they might see, but will also be partnering with local and state authorities to ensure they can use existing laws to minimize gun violence issues. .
“If the Supreme Court issues the type of opinion that many are predicting, we will need to innovate and adapt to meet the new public safety challenges the ruling may pose — and we will,” Bragg said in the memo.
Bragg said a team is already in place, ready to read and analyze the ruling as soon as it becomes available, according to the memo.
Prosecutors in his office are already expecting a rush of court filings, including bail applications for motions to dismiss, and will be preparing their teams on how to counter those filings.