New York lawmakers react to SCOTUS gun ruling

Published: Jun. 23, 2022 at 6:04 PM EDT
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PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. (WCAX) - In a major expansion of gun rights, the Supreme Court said Thursday that Americans have a right to carry firearms in public for self-defense, a ruling likely to lead to more people legally armed in cities and beyond.

The 6-3 ruling came in a New York case and is the high court’s first major gun decision in more than a decade, splitting the court’s conservative majority and liberals.

New York Democratic leaders reacted to the ruling by saying more must be done to protect the state from gun violence. Republican leaders called the decision a big win for the state.

“Shocking. Absolutely shocking,” said Gov. Kathy Hochul. “We can have restrictions on speech -- you can’t yell ‘fire in a crowded theater -- but somehow there are no restrictions allowed on the 2nd Amendment.”

The New York law said a person needed to prove there was a “special or unique danger to their life” if they wanted to carry a gun in public. But the justices say that clause violated the 2nd Amendment and that Americans have the right to carry for self-defense. New York is one of seven states, including Massachusetts, with similar laws.

President Biden called the ruling “deeply disappointing,” saying it “contradicts both common sense and the constitution.”

New York Congresswoman Elise Stefanik says she is a “proud defender” of the 2nd Amendment. In a statement, the North Country Republican said the ruling was a “win for the Constitution” and “law-abiding gun owners.”

New York Senator Dan Stec, R-Queensbury, called the decision “a big win for the 2nd Amendment.”

Assemblyman Billy Jones, D-Chateaugay said in a statement, “the issue is multifaceted and we will see what the lower courts implementation of this decision looks like.” He says the state is still analyzing what the decision means and how to move forward.

Concerns have been made about what this ruling means moving forward as many states and Congress look to strengthen gun laws in the country and how the decision will be used in lower courts when deciding if those regulations will become law.

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