Liberal states pledge to protect gun control laws from Supreme Court ruling

LOS ANGELES: The governor of California called Thursday’s (June 23) Supreme Court ruling “reckless” that could have a dramatic impact on half a dozen US states with strict wearable laws fire arms.

Gavin Newsom, who oversees the most populous state in the union, and one with some of the most restrictive gun rules, said the right-wing court’s 6-3 ruling “erases a law of common sense about firearm safety”.

But he vowed the progressive state would continue to pass new gun laws.

“Our state is ready with a bill that will be heard next week to update and strengthen our public transportation law and bring it into compliance with the Supreme Court ruling,” he said.

“Next week I will have 16 new gun safety bills on my desk, including a bill that will allow individuals to sue gun manufacturers and distributors for violating certain gun laws. I look forward to signing all of these bills.”

Thursday’s ruling overturns a century-old New York law that required a person to prove they had a legitimate need for self-defense, or “lawful cause,” in order to receive a firearms license.

Dozens of states already allow almost unfettered carrying of guns in public, but six Democratic-led states retain a high degree of control over who gets a permit. The court’s decision will limit their ability to prevent people from carrying guns in public.

Alongside New York and California, the states of Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts and New Jersey all require “good cause” permits, as does the District of Columbia.

The exact rules and how they are enforced vary from county to county in California, as permits are issued by the local sheriff or police department, who have the latitude to interpret “good cause”.

In Republican-run counties in rural areas of the state, there may be a presumption of licensing, provided the applicant takes a gun safety course and does not have a criminal record. judicial.

“MITIGATE THE DAMAGE”

But in liberal-run cities like San Francisco, the guidelines show the sheriff will only issue a permit to someone who presents a “significant risk of danger to life” that cannot be mitigated by law enforcement. .

Candidates must also prove that they are of “good character”, with no history of arrest or “moral turpitude”.

The Supreme Court’s ruling doesn’t immediately remove policies like this, but it does open the door to legal challenges that could overturn them.

New York City Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell said the decision did not change the facts on the ground, at least for now.

“If you carry a gun illegally in New York, you will be arrested,” she said.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg said he prepared for the decision.

“At this very moment, my office is analyzing this decision and developing gun safety legislation that will take the strongest possible action to mitigate the damage done today,” he said.

Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh said his state’s more restrictive gun laws “have proven effective in reducing gun violence.”

“We will review today’s decision to determine its impact in our state, and we will continue to fight to protect the safety of Marylanders.”

Her counterpart in Massachusetts, Maura Healey, said she supports “our common sense gun laws and will continue to defend and vigorously enforce them.”

Healey was one of 20 attorneys general who last year asked the Supreme Court to confirm that the Second Amendment does not prevent local courts from making their own rules.

“A one-size-fits-all approach to regulating public transportation would deprive state and local authorities of the ability to meet the particular public safety needs of their residents,” a statement said at the time.

New Jersey Acting Attorney General Matthew Platkin echoed that theme on Thursday, saying the court’s decision “disregards centuries of practice.”

“While the majority’s decision impacts our century-old justifiable need requirement for firearm carrying, it does not change any other aspect of New Jersey’s public carry law,” he said. said in a statement.

“To be clear: Carrying a handgun without a license is still illegal in this state.

“We will continue to enforce our strong, common-sense gun laws that have become a model for states seeking to address the epidemic of gun violence.”

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