COMMENT BY SAN DIEGANS FOR GUN VIOLENCE PREVENTION (SD4GVP) ON THE SUPREME COURT DECISION RE: NEW YORK’S CONCEAL CARRY LAW
San Diego, California, June 23, 2022 — “Today’s Supreme Court decision increases the risk of gun violence in America, and ignores that the overwhelming majority of Americans are looking for strong gun safety laws to protect them. Putting more guns into the public square makes all of us less safe. It is a simple equation that if more people are on the street with guns, it is more likely that any confrontations become deadly,” said Therese Hymer, head of legislative policy for the nonprofit San Diegans for Gun Violence Prevention.
In New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc., et al., v. Kevin P. Bruen, the Court struck down a law that had been in place since 1911, requiring individuals who would like to carry a concealed weapon in public to show a need to do so for the purpose of self-defense and to acquire a license. Worse, it applies a new standard that narrowly construes constitutional text as absolute, and largely ignores the determination that this nation’s legislative bodies have made over the course of two centuries that as our society has evolved, new gun safety standards have been absolutely required to protect the public.
The Second Amendment is not absolute, however, and this ruling is by no means the end of licensing laws for firearms. As Justice Kavanaugh’s concurring opinion makes clear, many regulations are constitutional, including the restriction of guns from sensitive places such as schools and government buildings. There is no immediate change to licensing laws, as the Court sent the New York matter back to the lower court for further action.
As we witness the further erosion of gun safety laws at all levels, it is more important than ever that Congress pass the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act. The Act provides $750 million in funding for states to implement and improve Extreme Risk Protection Order laws, which allow authorities to temporarily confiscate guns from people deemed dangerous to themselves or others; $250 million for community-based violence intervention; a $1 billion investment in mental health; an enhanced 10-day background check process for gun buyers between ages 18 and 21; a provision to keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers who are dating partners; a federal statute to prohibit gun trafficking and straw purchases to address the illicit trade of firearms across state lines; and clarification on who needs to seek a Federal Firearms License before selling guns. Finally, it gives more than $2 billion in funding to schools for school-based mental health services, mental health staff and counselors, and safety measures and violence prevention efforts. SD4GVP notes that we are concerned that the maximum sentences in the gun trafficking law are excessive and follow failed strategies of the past that create a disparate impact on our Black and Brown communities, and urge that amendments be made to this portion of the Act.
States like California, which have strong evidence-based gun safety laws, have the lowest rates of death, which is why we must continue to fight to maintain and strengthen our laws.
About San Diegans for Gun Violence Prevention (SD4GVP)
Founded in 2018, SD4GVP, 501(c)(4), is an all-volunteer coalition of citizens and organizations in the
San Diego region and beyond dedicated to ending gun violence in the U.S. This is accomplished through legislative advocacy, public education, and intervention strategies in high-risk communities. For more information, visit sd4gvp.org. Follow us on Facebook at SD4GVP, on Twitter @gvpsd4, and Instagram.