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New York City Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell has issued a warning that Thursday’s Supreme Court ruling awarding gun owners a major Second Amendment victory has nothing to do with criminals illegally carrying firearms.
Chief of the nation’s largest police department, Sewell said the case had been moved to lower court, so “it’s important to know today that nothing is changing.”
“If you have a premise permit, it doesn’t automatically convert to a transport permit,” she said. “If you carry a gun illegally in New York, you will be arrested. Nothing changes today.”
“When we open up the universe of transportation permits, it potentially brings more firearms into New York City, onto the streets of New York, and that should affect all of us,” Sewell added.
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Despite the Supreme Court ruling applying to private citizens applying for concealed carry permits because they want to protect themselves, Adams earlier in the press conference said the ruling has and will continue to keep him awake the night and “will put New Yorkers at additional risk of Gun Violence.”
The mayor also said in a statement that such a decision could allow New York to become “the Wild West”.
New York has some of the strictest gun control laws in the country, and despite this, has seen an increase in crime since the height of the police defund movement. Republicans have blamed the rise in crime on lax prosecutions by liberal district attorneys and the state’s controversial cashless bail law.
Earlier this year, when two NYPD officers were fatally shot while responding to a domestic incident, Adams met with President Biden and spearheaded initiatives to combat illegal gun trafficking.
“We have prepared for this decision and will continue to do everything we can to work with our federal, state and local partners to protect our city. These efforts will include a comprehensive review of our approach to defining ‘sensitive locations’ where transportation of ‘a weapon is prohibited, and reviewing our application process to ensure that only those who are fully qualified can obtain a license to carry,’ Adams said in a statement Thursday. “We will work together to mitigate the risks this decision will create once it is implemented, because we cannot allow New York to become the Wild West.”
“One thing is certain: We will do everything in our power, using all available resources to ensure that the gains we have seen during this administration are not reversed, to ensure that New Yorkers not be further exposed to gun violence,” Adams added. “This decision may have opened up another river feeding the sea of gun violence, but we will do everything we can to stem it.”
New York Democratic Governor Kathy Hochul, who has championed her state’s controversial bail reform law that critics say allows repeat violent offenders back on the streets, was defiant in her reaction to the Supreme Court ruling on concealed carry permits, swearing “We’re just getting started” on gun restrictions.”
The case, New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc. v. Bruen, was the first major Second Amendment case to come to the Supreme Court in more than a decade. New York law required a person to demonstrate a “good cause” before they could obtain a concealed carry license. The “just cause” standard allowed state officials to determine whether applicants had provided a specific reason for needing a firearm, denying access to people who said they simply wanted to protect themselves.
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“In this case, the petitioners and respondents agree that ordinary, law-abiding citizens have the same right to carry handguns in public in self-defense. We also agree, and now, in accordance with Heller and McDonald, that the Second and Fourteenth Amendments protect an individual’s right to carry a handgun for self-defense outside the home,” Judge Clarence Thomas wrote in the court opinion. “Given that New York State issues public carrier licenses only when an applicant demonstrates a special need for self-defense, we conclude that the state’s licensing regime violates the Constitution.”
Fox News’ Anders Hagstrom contributed to this report.