Reactions to relaxed US gun laws: New York shouldn’t become a “wild west”.

As of: 06/24/2022 00:43 a.m

The Supreme Court has ruled that anyone in New York State should be allowed to carry a gun in public. But there is resistance in the metropolis, even if the opinions of the population differ.

By Antje Passenheim, ARD Studio New York

The judge’s verdict from Washington is a topic in Manhattan. The idea that anyone will soon be able to walk down Fifth Avenue or Times Square with a gun on their belt worries many New Yorkers.

“If people want guns, fine. But they shouldn’t carry them around with them. Why do you need that? It makes it less safe here,” says Mia, a resident of the metropolis. Austin, also from New York, is also critical:

Data shows that there are fewer gun deaths the stricter the gun laws are. Unfortunately for some people holding their guns is more important than protecting others from dying.

Around 600 shootings since the beginning of the year

New Yorkers are already suffering from the many shootings in their city: there were almost 600 this year alone. About 700 people were injured or died from projectiles.

A woman named Linn fears that the verdict will make life even more unsafe for people without weapons. Another passerby remains calm: If someone wants to shoot him, he will shoot him, says Harry. And one shopkeeper agrees, “Now that everyone has a gun in New York, it’s good if you can defend yourself with one.”

Supreme Court overturns New York decision

So far, owners have needed a special license to carry a gun in public. They must be able to provide an appropriate justification for this, such as a special need for self-defence.

On the other hand, two members of a weapons association had sued. Her request to carry her arms had been denied by New York authorities. The men had gone before the Supreme Court – and now they were right.

Mayor Adams will not accept verdict

New York’s governor Kathy Hochul has only one expression for this: “Absolutely shocking” is the verdict. But she promises: “This is New York. We will not give up. We will fight.” Your government has already planned the next steps to resist the fact that soon every gun owner will be allowed to carry them in public.

Mayor Eric Adams says he won’t let the city live in fear either:

We can’t let New York become the Wild West.

It should not be the case that every dispute in the metropolis could end in a shootout in the future. He is already working out countermeasures with Hochul. “We are in the process of designating so-called sensitive zones where it will not be allowed to carry a weapon in the future,” Adams announced. “And we’re revising the application process to make sure only those who are fully qualified get a gun license.”

Are laws tipping in other states?

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg said his office is analyzing Washington’s verdict in order to take further countermeasures. The verdict undermines public safety – not only in New York, but across the country.

Other states there now fear that gun lobbyists could overturn their gun-carrying restrictions based on the New York model. Around a quarter of the US population lives in states like California, Massachusetts or New Jersey, which could be affected by the decision.

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