Legal Aid Society


LAS Calls for Equitable Gun Legislation Following Supreme Court Ruling

The Legal Aid Society is calling for a thoughtful approach from lawmakers following a Supreme Court ruling which found that New York’s concealed-carry gun licensing regulations violate the Second Amendment.

“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, in the criminal legal system,” reads a statement from Legal Aid. “This decision may be an affirmative step toward ending arbitrary licensing standards that have inhibited lawful Black and Brown gun ownership in New York.”

“In this moment and always, we must honor and remember people who have lost their lives to gun violence – the overwhelmingly majority of whom are from BIPOC communities,” the statement continues. “We must also name the white supremacist and anti-democratic agenda of the gun lobby and the NRA and the hate-filled tragedies that have taken the lives of so many in Buffalo and across this country.”

As lawmakers consider next steps in response to this decision Legal Aid is warning against the reproduction of a regulatory scheme that perpetuates the same disparate outcomes yielded under the previous law or to further criminalize gun ownership, noting that criminalization has never prevented violence and serves only to further marginalize and incarcerate people from BIPOC communities.

“The solution to public safety challenges can be found in the proven success of community-based, public-health models such as New York City’s Crisis Management System and Cure Violence initiative,” the statement reads. “Community investment must lead this conversation, not proposals that harken back to an era that fueled mass incarceration and made our communities less safe. New York must find a way forward that will promote true public safety, while preserving the constitutional rights of all citizens.”