ROCHESTER, N.Y (WROC) — The mass shootings in Uvalde, Texas, and Buffalo have reignited debates about solutions to prevent these killings.

The Shooters Committee on Political Education, also known as SCOPE, signed onto a lawsuit taking a New York State conceal carry law to the Supreme Court. Arguing too many gun control policies already prevent law-abiding citizens from protecting themselves in public.  

Chairman of the Wayne County Chapter of SCOPE, Don Smith, took issue with current New York State gun laws creating what he calls gun-free zones.

Making grocery stores like the Tops in Buffalo and schools easy targets for shooters to kill people with no way of defending themselves.  

“If they had been a handgun owned and in the procession of those shoppers that day, would it have made a difference,” Smith said. “I think it would have.”  

Following mass shootings in Buffalo and Uvalde, Texas; New York Governor Kathy Hochul is calling for raising the minimum age to buy an AR-15 in New York to 21 while adding red flag laws to the books.

Smith, however, points to strict gun laws like the Safe Act already in place but didn’t stop Payton Gendron from carrying out his attack in Buffalo. 

“It affected about 55 different laws in the state, but the point is that didn’t stop that shooter in Buffalo. Did it,” Smith argued. “What that tells me is there are certain individuals that will never be affected by these laws. That’s why they’re called criminals.”  

Rochester has not experienced any mass shootings so far this year but is coming off its deadliest year in history with 81 homicides. Social justice activists like Mike Johnson with Save Rochester link this to a mental health crisis Americans in community’s face. And don’t see more access to guns helping.  

“Helping the public to create a narrative of the role of guns in the community,” Johnson said. “So having those gun violence forums, having interventions where we can teach kids how dangerous and lethal guns can be.” 

If you would like to get a conceal carry permit right now in the state of New York, you’re required to establish a proper cause as to why you need it before getting approved.

On top of paying processing fees. This is what SCOPE is challenging in the Supreme Court and they expect a ruling by the Fall.