black gun owners range train
(AP Photo/Lisa Marie Pane)
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By Jennifer Peltz, AP

When the U.S. Supreme Court struck down New York’s tight restrictions on who can carry a handgun, condemnation erupted from liberal leaders and activists.

But some public defenders, often allies of progressive activists, praised the court’s ruling, saying gun-permitting rules like New York’s have long been a license for racial discrimination.

By making it a crime for most people to carry a handgun, New York and a few other states have ended up putting people — overwhelmingly people of color — behind bars for conduct that would be legal elsewhere, the defense lawyers complain.

“New York’s gun licensing regulations have been arbitrarily and discriminatorily applied, disproportionately ensnaring the people we represent, the majority of whom are from communities of color,” said The Legal Aid Society, which represents criminal defendants who can’t afford their own lawyers.

The court’s decision Thursday concerned a century-old law that said New Yorkers seeking gun licenses had to show an unusual threat to their safety if they wanted to carry a handgun in public.

Simply wanting a gun for personal defense was not enough. And the police departments or judicial magistrates were given wide discretion to decide who needs and deserves to carry a gun.

Reasons could include being a retired law enforcement officer or working as an armed guard or in a business that transports valuables. A few other states have similar standards.

The Supreme Court, in a majority opinion by Justice Clarence Thomas, said New York’s system violated Americans’ Second Amendment right to “keep and bear arms.”

New York’s governor and New York City’s mayor, both Democrats, quickly began eying other potential guardrails for carrying guns. Gov. Kathy Hochul plans to convene with state lawmakers at the end of the month to push for new gun control legislation.

Ideas include banning them in certain areas, such as subways, or requiring weapons training to get a permit. The officials argue that it’s perilous to make it easier to carry a gun. They envision more arguments turning into deadly confrontations at a time when the nation is already beset by gun violence.

Some civil rights leaders agree. The Rev. Al Sharpton called the Supreme Court ruling “devastating,” and the National Urban League and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund said it was particularly so for Black people.

In a friend-of-the-court brief, the two groups pointed to statistics showing that black Americans, particularly black male teens and young men, die from gunfire at a higher rate than do whites or the general population.

“If the Supreme Court actively were seeking out a way to make the nation more volatile and dangerous, it could not have devised a more damaging scenario,” league President Marc Morial said after the ruling.

But attorneys from nearly a dozen New York public defender agencies and organizations cited other statistics.

Black people faced 78% of felony gun possession charges in the state last year, while making up 18% of its population — compared to 7% of prosecutions and 70% of the population for non-Hispanic whites, the defenders said in their own friend-of-the-court brief. Over 90% of people arrested in New York City on charges of possessing a loaded firearm are Black and/or Latino, according to the filing, although non-Hispanic whites comprise nearly 1/3 of the city population.

The defenders argue that the numbers are rooted in a history of racist anxieties about racial and ethnic minorities having firearms and are furthered by an “expensive and onerous discretionary licensing process.”

According to New York Police Department statistics, about 3,500 civilians in the city of 8.5 million have “business carry” licenses, and another 2,000 guards have permits to carry guns while working. About 15,000 retired law enforcement officers have a type of license that’s specific to them. The department didn’t provide a breakdown of licensees by race.

“While white people throughout the nation amass firearm arsenals even as hobbies, black and Latinx New Yorkers are arrested, prosecuted and imprisoned for simply possessing a single pistol for self-defense,” several of the brief’s authors wrote in an October article on SCOTUSblog, a legal news site.

One defendant was a working father and college student who carried a gun to a neighborhood where he’d been slashed in the face. He ended up serving eight months in jail and dropping out of college, according to the defenders. Another man contracted COVID-19 and died last fall while jailed on $100,000 bail in a case alleging he had a gun in his car, which he denied.

Another defendant, a military veteran who served in Iraq and legally owned a gun in her home state of Texas, was arrested for having the weapon in her car in New York. She was jailed for weeks before making bail and was subjected to a child-neglect proceeding that kept her away from her two small boys for a year. The criminal case was eventually dismissed.

“I lost everything: my job, my car, my home and my kids,” she said in the court filing.

In Chicago, Cook County Public Defender Sharone Mitchell Jr. has become convinced that Illinois’ firearms laws — which are strict, but don’t include a New York-style “proper cause” standard — are doing less to keep guns off streets than to put people in prison. A quarter of his caseload involves no other charge but gun possession.

“We have a gun problem, full stop. But failed policies are part of the problem,” Mitchell said in a statement after the Supreme Court ruling in the New York case. “These laws facilitate racially targeted enforcement that sends thousands of black people to prison because they do not have or cannot get the required licenses, not because they’ve been accused of harming someone.”

Black Women Guns concealed carry class
(AP Photo/Lisa Marie Pane)

The high court indicated that states still can require licenses and can impose some conditions, and New York and other states with similar laws will surely look closely at what leeway they still have.

But some public defenders suggest lawmakers should take a broader view of gun control.

“Regulation and criminalization are not our only options,” said Corey Stoughton, a Legal Aid Society attorney who focuses on legislative and regulatory reform. She points to such approaches as violence intervention programs.

“If we want to reduce guns, we need to make people feel safe,” Stoughton said. “And we have ways that are positive approaches to invest in our communities and make people feel safer.”

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46 COMMENTS

  1. Al Sharpton is a racist and should be shunned from society and ignored, he needs to repent.

    • Nice to hear some public defenders are catching on after I’ve been saying for years how History Confirms Gun Control in any shape, matter or form is rooted in racism and genocide.

      Sleazy knee jerk gun control laws that ride in on the coattails of murdered children will cease when the day comes Gun Control and a Noose are seen as one in the same.

      • I have always maintained that gun laws are racist, sexist and elitist. The Sullivan Act, one of the early gun control laws was aimed at the dago criminals who were encroaching on what was previously mick gang territory. Of course we know that the rich and famous were always able to obtain whatever firearm they desired.

        Do you think the royal family in England has to have permits for the numerous firearms they personally own? If you think they have permits, let me introduce you to a sure fire way to make an easy million $. Of course, Boobberg doesn’t own a gun. He just has a small army of armed personal guards. That way he can maintain his virginity. I would like to have a body guard armed with MP5s too but my budget only allows me to have a low cost Saturday Night special. Remember when those were the hot button evil gun of the day? My contention always was, why don’t we want criminals to have cheaply made, dangerous to fire, inaccurate, prone to jam firearms as opposed to stealing expensive, reliable, accurate, durable firearms?

        And, of course, nobody wants the little woman to have a gun because the next time she is getting smacked around for some imagined offense she just might decide it was time to call such abuse quite and perforate her torturer with numerous bullet holes.
        God might have made woman subservient to men, but Samuel Colt set them free.

    • Exactly. The “reverend” who never set foot in a seminary & never had a congregation.

      Race hustling shyster.

    • ” Reverend Al Sharpton”
      According the the KJV of the Bible only God is Reverend.
      Psalm 111 verse 9,
      “He sent redemption unto his people:
      He hath commanded His covenant for ever:
      Holy and reverend is His name.”

      Sort of hard/difficult/impossible for a mortal to be reverend in the context of scripture.
      Also, this is the only place in the Bible where the word reverend is used.

      • I knew a preacher who owned a 911 Turbo with a vanity plate that read REVVRUN.

        • Hero, my maternal grandfather said to me once, “There wouldn’t be a preacher on the planet if it wasn’t for the almighty dollar.” He also had a term for people like All Sharpton. He called them, “Card carrying preachers”. He had a few other, uh, adjectives, yeah, that’s it, adjectives for them. Those would get me moderated. Even this might.

      • My late father had an error on his drivers permit “Rev” instead of “Mr.”
        He tried to get it fixed but it came back so he ignored it.
        One day he accidentally landed his light aircraft at a military air station instead of a civilian airport. The Air Force security were very hostile then they saw “Reverend”. “Why are you not in church on this Sunday?”
        Father thinks quick, “I bring the word of the Lord to people all days”.
        They actually gave him fuel and sent him on his way.

  2. “New York Gov. Kathy Hochul announced Friday that she will convene an extraordinary session of the state legislature on June 30 to pass new gun safety legislation in response to the Supreme Court’s decision in NYSRPA v. Bruen.”

    You do that Gov, and have fun defending the charges of deprivation of civil rights.

    “Ideas include banning them in certain areas, such as subways, or requiring weapons training to get a permit.”

    There will be subway carry. Once that door closes and the train moves, you are helpless against thugs in the same car with you.

    Subway crime will drop once the criminals make the connection that the person they thought they could rob or assault with impunity just might leave their brains painted on the car’s floor… 🙂

    • The end result we expect but going to be an expensive legal circus in between. Going to be interesting to more the trolls script changes though.

    • The original Death Wish (1974) with Charles Bronson was a classic. Don’t bother with the sequels.

      • Second one was fine but they quickly got absurd going on. Neat showcase of arms though.

    • Once we see a few Bernie Goetz incidents the word will get around and subway crime will drop precipitously just like when the original happened. The left will whine out loud but be quietly relieved that they can ride again without being in fear for their lives, of course, they will give credit to that Adams idiot since they can’t admit concealed carriers should be thanked.

  3. I have a feeling that the Court will come down harshly on any attempts by the affected eight states to circumvent the intent of the decision. I also think that the lesser courts will definitely think twice about crossing the absolute line the Court drew as to scrutiny.

    • SCOTUS already stated the following in Heller:

      1. Not allowing everyone to possess a gun.
      2. Not allowing guns to be carried everywhere. Laws forbidding people from carrying firearms in “sensitive” places, such as schools and government buildings, remain valid.
      3. Certain restrictions on the sale of guns. Laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of firearms continue to be allowed.
      4. Banning certain types of guns. The Second Amendment does not protect guns that are not typically possessed by law-abiding citizens for lawful purposes, such as short-barreled shotguns. (The Court endorsed the “the historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of ‘dangerous and unusual weapons.'”)
      5. Outlawing concealed weapons. Laws prohibiting concealed weapons probably remain valid.

      The idea the states won’t try to circumvent the Bruen decision and succeed to a great extent is foolish. Lower courts won’t change their positions and it could be years before SCOTUS takes on another 2A case.

      • “2. Not allowing guns to be carried everywhere. Laws forbidding people from carrying firearms in “sensitive” places, such as schools and government buildings, remain valid.”

        Thomas clarified in ‘Bruen’ that meant that NYC could not declare all of Manhattan Island to be a sensitive place.

        As I mentioned above, the subway will not be allowed to be a ‘sensitive area’ since many of the poor use it exclusively to go to and from work, especially at odd hours. Once that subway car door closes, there is no escape from a thug who wants to rob or assault you. If it needs to go to the SCotUS, Thomas will be happy to explain that to the lawmakers who think the subway should be an ineffective ‘gun-free zone’.

        As far as I am personally concerned, if a business wants to be a ‘gun-free zone’, they should be required to provide secure lockers at the door of their business, and accept all liability if someone armed gets in and does bad things inside.

        “The idea the states won’t try to circumvent the Bruen decision and succeed to a great extent is foolish. Lower courts won’t change their positions and it could be years before SCOTUS takes on another 2A case.”

        Smack them hard enough, they will comply. The same way the courts forced Chicago to do so after the McDonald decision… 🙂

        • “Thomas clarified in ‘Bruen’ that meant that NYC could not declare all of Manhattan Island to be a sensitive place.”

          True, but I disagree that they won’t try and make public transportation, run by the city, gun free. I hope you are right and I’m wrong.

          “Smack them hard enough, they will comply”
          Who is going to smack them? There’s no way SCOTUS will act/comment on every measure the states will try to take to water this down.

          I think Bruen is a good decision for guns rights proponents, but I also think the anti-gun asswipes will do everything they can to keep things the way they are. The courts will be clogged with BS and little if any will ever make it back to SCOTUS. I would bet my house on it.

        • ““Smack them hard enough, they will comply”
          Who is going to smack them? There’s no way SCOTUS will act/comment on every measure the states will try to take to water this down.”

          Now, this had to do with Roe, but the mindset is the same :

          *BREAKING*

          “Maxine Waters: “To Hell With The Supreme Court! We Will Defy Them!”

          https://www.zerohedge.com/political/maxine-waters-hell-supreme-court-we-will-defy-them

          It’s gonna be a ‘Summer Of Love’, start popping the popcorn… 🙂

      • Do some more readin. The decision yesterday clearly indicates that Unconstitutional BS (as the nonsense you list) does NOT pass muster. Finally an Originalist understanding of the Constitution from the court that directly states that stare decisis drivel which protected prior idiotic decisions is DEAD. Barrett’s concurring opinion, directly invites further litigation to further clearly define Original Intent.

        Impeaching a few prog judges in 2023 will accomplish much.

        Stop supporting the Progs/RINOs.

        • I read it, dickhed. The decision says it’s unconstitutional to deny permits. It in no way says the 5 points I quoted from the Heller decision are drivel or no longer valid controls the states can implement.

          If you think the anti-gun crowd is just going to roll over – you are a fool. Not a single judge will be impeached protecting the people from gun crime (hindering gun rights), it’s an idiotic wish.

        • Sure Cato…. if it can pass STRICT scrutiny, not the intermediate scrutiny lower courts have been misapplying.

          PS: This may be the only website where only all lowercase e-mail addresses pass muster.

        • Not sure what you mean. It’s not going to take much scrutiny from the lower courts to allow the states to do something SCOTUS said was permissible under Heller.

  4. “ ‘If we want to reduce guns, we need to make people feel safe,’ Stoughton said. ‘And we have ways that are positive approaches to invest in our communities and make people feel safer.’ ”

    We reduce guns here by shooting the bad guys with guns (or other weapons) that are trying to harm us, the bad guy guns are taken in evidence and when no longer needed or required to be retained they are destroyed thus guns are reduced.

    We have a positive approach here – here we shoot the bad guys trying to harm us and that positively makes us safer as a community and not just ‘feel’ safer because it removes a threat to our community safety from the streets and most times its a more definitive solution than simply putting them in jail for a few years.

    There that stupid left ‘make people feel safer’ thing they came up with in their own little world – translated to real world it means fooling people into thinking they are safer without doing anything to reduce or remove the threat that makes them unsafe.

    • Putting in jail for a few years………. didn’t have you pegged as an optimist.

      • Well, the ones that are only wounded need to be put somewhere. This way we get a second chance to remove them when they re-offend.

        Lol

  5. Further proof the left is in fact racist and all their finger pointing of racism is just projection.

    • Never any doubt. Planned Parenthood was started by a witch named sanger who wanted to use abortions to decimate the non white community. Abortions still effect poc out of all proportion to their population size in America.

      It’s why leftist like miner49er and herr dacian support abortions. Any tool to eliminate poc.

      • Sanger started out with a very sharp distinction between birth control and abortion. She was actually opposed to all abortions except the most life-threatening situations for the pregnant, and refused to participate in any of them as a nurse. Her thing then was birth control via planning and education and contraception, and that is what she originally intended a ‘planned parenthood’ to be.

        But, Sanger also became a eugenicists later. In such a eugenics role and belief contrary to the traditional eugenics that imply or insist that a woman’s first duty is to the state Sanger contended a negative eugenics philosophy that a woman’s duty to herself is her duty to the state. In the eugenics context she maintained that a woman possessing an adequate knowledge of her reproductive functions is the best judge of the time and conditions under which her child should be brought into the world. Its here we begin to see her radical transformation from anti-abortion to pro-abortion. She further maintained that it is a woman’s right, regardless of all other considerations, to determine whether she shall bear children or not, and how many children she shall bear if she chooses to become a mother.

        As a eugenicists Sanger did ‘publicly’ endorse birth control in terms of racial betterment and she stressed limiting the number of births to live within economic ability to raise and support healthy children. But she also did not oppose the concept of using birth control and abortion as a means to betterment of society and the human race by imposing it on immigrants and those who were not white. She looked the other way when others spouted racist speech or oppressed non-white races and had no issues with using flawed and obvious racist works to serve her own agenda of ‘racial betterment’.

        And it is from these ‘racial betterment’ racists origins and eugenics that the idea of a woman’s right to an abortion is derived. In its concept as put forth by Sanger – it is a woman’s duty to her self that is the duty to the state for racial betterment, thus its for that goal that non-white races be decimated and removed from society.

        And in more modern times this got turned into something ‘good’ for those who wanted it and a ‘positive spin’ was put on it and we ended up with the thing of abortion being a right, based originally upon a racists and eugenics ideal as its origins the same ideals the Nazis later used to murder over 6 million people and plunge the world into war.

  6. While New Yorks law was at the front and center, it’s not entirely about NEW YORK.

    Hey New York, it’s NOT ABOUT YOU! It’s inconsequential how long New Yorks laws was on the books, unconstitutional is still unconstitutional.

    • First of all it is always about us, with that out of the way you are quite correct and we have a lot more unconstitutional laws to unravel of varying ages and more pending unless our competitors in slavery crash and burn first.

      • Poverty pimps are bad for the “black community”. FIFY’all! I guarantee sleazy Sharpton is protected by guys with gats…

        • Terms and conditions of my employment require me to check my privilege before saying the quiet part out loud. With that said anyone claiming to fight racism (well any ism or phobe mass media enemy really) and not being a broke volunteer has a high probability of being a poverty pimp. The others are just unfortunate for a multitude of reasons.

  7. The first goal of gun control laws was always racial control.

    In some states, it was about disenfranchising black people so they couldn’t rise up and settle longstanding grudges against the power structure. After all, the Klan could not be able exercise the power it did if black people could shoot back.

    In New York City, it was about disarming Italian immigrants in favor of the powerful Irish-American gangs. Tammany Hall Vice Lord and Irish mobster Timothy Sullivan was the driving force behind the law that bears his name. Later, the law disarmed everyone who couldn’t bribe their way out of it.

    In the past, civilian disarmament was about the top dogs keeping the underdogs as defenseless as possible. It still is.

    • Debbie W. has been clearly been stating this fact for some time now. See her comment at the onset of this comment thread and she speaks truth.

  8. “pointed to statistics showing that black Americans, particularly black male teens and young men, die from gunfire at a higher rate than do whites or the general population.”

    No shit. But HOW exactly does that come about? NOT because Whitie driving down MLK Blvd shooting up da hood.

  9. I remember all the bloodbaths after Florida pass it’s Gunshine State law, shootings over fender benders and wrong looks. oh wait, that’s Chicago.

  10. $15 a gallon gas and $8 for a gallon of milk.
    We’re going to need more emu.
    Out in the streets there was violence
    And lots of work to be done
    Working so hard like a soldier
    Still can’t feed everyone
    Ohhhh No

    • Marsupial Music :

      “Out in the streets there was violence
      And lots of work to be done…”

    • The marsupial one is dead on…we are in for a turbocharged version of the firey protests but they are likely to upgrade from “mostly peaceful” to “occasionally peaceful” except when they are not!

      Been a while since I heard “Electric Avenue” good stuff.

  11. Al is afraid of the Jewish Diamond Merchants he turned a mob on having the ability to defend themselves.

  12. Over 90% of people arrested in New York City on charges of possessing a loaded firearm are Black and/or Latino, according to the filing, although non-Hispanic whites comprise nearly 1/3 of the city population.

    That doesn’t prove that there is racism. It could just very well mean that POC just commit more crime at a higher rate than white people.

    In fact it has been shown in multiple studies that the arrest/convistion rates of the races follow closely the racial rates identified in the initial crime victim incident reports. It’s logical that the victim wants to accurately report the proper race of the perpetrator because they want the criminal to be caught. So the net is the most likely reason that POC are arrested at a higher rate is because POC commit crimes a a higher rate.

  13. Unless you believe “Once a criminal, always a criminal” we should sunset rules against convicts carrying, I would suggest 5 years for a misdemeanor and ten years for a felony. If you believe they cannot be changed, or saved, or save themselves what is the excuse for allowing punishment less than life in prison?

    • I would agree provided it is five years without another offense and ten years without another offense. An offense would be breaking any law other than offenses where the punishment is merely a fine. Any offense where the punishment was possible incarceration should start the five/ten years over again after full completion of the sentence. An adjudication of rehabilitation by a judge should also end the prohibition against weapons.

  14. Great post you hit all the right points.

    P.S. Please stop using LATINX,it does not help.

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