ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Following the Supreme Court’s gun law ruling strike Thursday, gun rights activists feel law-abiding citizens now have more options to protect themselves when out in public as Rochester continues to see more homicides plague the streets.
Lawmakers, however, fear it will make gun violence spike with more weapons on the streets.
The key takeaway in this ruling is gun owners no longer must establish proper cause with local law enforcement as to why they need a concealed carry permit to qualify.
Even if they pass background checks. When Rochester faces record levels of gun violence, the reaction is mixed on whether this will benefit public safety.
This case revolves around a more than 100-year-old New York State Law which required anyone wanting an unrestrictive license to carry a concealed handgun in public to demonstrate a special reason for needing it to law enforcement.
Tom Reynolds, President of Shooters Committee on Political Education, said he saw this as government overreach.
“Now they’re saying the Government has to prove that you don’t need a gun,” Reynolds said. “So for instance if you’re a felon you’re still not going to be able to get a gun. But if you’re just a law-abiding citizen you don’t have to prove you need it for any other reason.”
Assemblymember Harry Bronson of Rochester accused the Supreme Court of being out of control and putting public safety of communities at more risk due to more guns allowed on the streets without regulation on who can obtain them.
“We’re not going to be able to protect our citizens if any person can carry a concealed weapon any place in the public that they want to,” Assemblyman Bronson said. “This decision opens that door.”
Even with this ruling, carrying guns on school grounds and government buildings is still prohibited. But with Rochester on pace to surpass another record in homicides this year, gun rights activists argue this can make gun violence go down in public if more law-abiding citizens are in positions to protect themselves.
“This gives you the ability to carry a handgun,” Reynolds said. “People are going to be less likely to attack someone carrying a handgun. So, it should have a positive impact.”
“The data and the evidence show that the more people who have guns the more people will get murdered,” Assemblyman Bronson said. “The evidence does not support the idea that if we are more people in our population that people are going to be safer.”
Assemblyman Harry Bronson said he would support Governor Kathy Hochul calling a special session to revise any regulations on concealed carry permits. New York was one of eight states in the country to have proper cause policies.
This ruling made no changes in the New York State law regarding restrictive carry permits which regulate people carrying their weapons out to hunt, shooting ranges, or for business purposes.