NEW YORK - Today, the Supreme Court of the United States issued a decision in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. Bruen, striking down New York’s restriction on concealed carry and eroding the legal basis for gun regulations. The Court did leave room for New York and other states to protect public safety through various prerequisites before obtaining a public carry permit, including background checks and training requirements.
In September, the New York Civil Liberties Union and the American Civil Liberties Union submitted an amicus brief in the case, arguing that the unregulated carrying of weapons in public undermines the sense of safety required for an open, healthy democracy, and that state and local governments have long imposed strict regulations on the public carrying of guns.
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.”