Lauren Leone and Evan Bourtis
Updated: June 24, 2022 05:39 AM
Created: June 23, 2022 12:19 PM
NEW YORK (WHEC) — Gov. Kathy Hochul said mayors must step up to keep cities safe from gun violence now that the U.S. Supreme Court has struck down a New York law that made it more difficult to conceal-carry a gun in public.
She held an emergency meeting with mayors across New York, including Rochester Mayor Malik Evans, on Thursday. The meeting focused on the policy options that the state is considering after the Supreme Court ruling made it easier to open-carry guns across the country.
Other leading New York State's leading Democrats, including Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and Congressman Joe Morelle have also spoken out against Thursday's Supreme Court ruling.
The 6-3 decision said that the NY law, which required gun owners to demonstrate a security need if they wanted a license to carry a gun in public, violated the Second Amendment.
Gov. Hochul said the ruling was reckless. The ruling comes as New York and the nation is struggling with gun violence, including the mass shootings in Buffalo and Uvalde Texas.
"It is outrageous that at a moment of national reckoning on gun violence, the Supreme Court has recklessly struck down a New York law that limits those who can carry concealed weapons," Hochul said.
It is outrageous that at a moment of national reckoning on gun violence, the Supreme Court has recklessly struck down a New York law that limits those who can carry concealed weapons.— Governor Kathy Hochul (@GovKathyHochul) June 23, 2022
Gov. Hochul said she plans on calling a special session of the state legislature in response to the ruling. She said the state will look to define "sensitive locations" where concealed carry can be banned - including subways, movie theaters, and restaurants.
"Just as we swiftly passed nation-leading gun reform legislation, I will continue to do everything in my power to keep New Yorkers safe from gun violence," she said.
Sen. Gillibrand said the ruling was "downright dangerous" and said it was a step in the wrong direction for safety.
"It guts our state concealed carry permitting laws," Gillibrand said. "It is not just irresponsible, but it's downright dangerous. Our nation is in the middle of a gun violence epidemic."
"We need to act and we need to act now," she continued. "Congress must move swiftly to pass comprehensive gun safety legislation and ensure only those who are trained and trustworthy are allowed to carry loaded firearms."
The senator expressed concerns that the decision will allow more loaded handguns to be carried and concealed in public spaces by potentially dangerous people.
"It's time that we did what it takes to stop the rise in gun violence," she said. "The lives of our friends, our enforcement officers and our children are at stake."
In response to a question asked during her press conference, she stated, "New York has thoughtful and common-sense gun regulations now. And if this is an example of the type of activism that the Supreme Court is going to engage in, we are going to have to think about how we can pass stronger laws that are not vulnerable."
Congressman Joe Morelle said the ruling will "only lead to more violence". He called on Congress to act to pass the gun bill that was approved by the Senate on Thursday.
The bill that aims to curb gun violence got bipartisan Senate approval, earning more than the 60 votes it needed to pass.
“At a time when America is facing an epidemic of gun violence, the Supreme Court is taking deliberate action to put more guns on the streets," Morelle said. "The Proper Cause requirement exists to keep dangerous weapons out of the hands of dangerous people, and this decision will make it easier for guns to fall into the hands of those who intend to do harm."
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