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New York Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell issued a warning that Thursday’s Supreme Court ruling delivering gun owners a major Second Amendment win has nothing to do with criminals illegally carrying guns.
Leader of the largest police department in the country, Sewell said that the case has been remanded to the lower court, so “it’s important to know today that nothing changes.”
“If you have a premise permit, it does not automatically convert to a carry permit,” she said. “If you carry a gun illegally in New York City, you will be arrested. Nothing changes today.”
“When we open the universe of carry permits, it potentially brings more guns to the city of New York, to the streets of New York City, and that should concern us all,” 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 decision has and will continue to keep him up at night and “will put New Yorkers at further risk of gun violence.”
The mayor also claimed in a statement that such a ruling 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 surging crime ushered in since the height of the defund police movement. Republicans have blamed surging crime on lax prosecution by liberal district attorneys and the state’s controversial cashless bail law.
Earlier this year, when two NYPD officers were shot and killed while responding to a domestic incident, Adams met with President Biden and launched initiatives to tackle the illegal trafficking of guns.
“We have been preparing for this decision and will continue to do everything possible to work with our federal, state, and local partners to protect our city. Those efforts will include a comprehensive review of our approach to defining ‘sensitive locations’ where carrying a gun is banned, and reviewing our application process to ensure that only those who are fully qualified can obtain a carry license,” Adams said in a statement Thursday. “We will work together to mitigate the risks this decision will create once it is implemented, as we cannot allow New York to become the Wild West.”
“One thing is certain: We will do whatever is in our power, using every resource available to ensure that the gains we’ve seen during this administration are not undone, to make certain New Yorkers are not put in further danger of gun violence,” Adams added. “This decision may have opened an additional river feeding the sea of gun violence, but we will do everything we can to dam it.”
Democratic New York Gov. Kathy Hochul, who has defended her state’s controversial bail reform law that critics claim allow violent repeat offenders back onto the streets, was defiant in her reaction to the Supreme Court ruling on concealed carry permits, vowing “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 before the Supreme Court in more than a decade. New York’s law required a person to show “proper cause” before being able to obtain a concealed carry license. The “proper cause” standard allowed state officials to determine whether applicants had supplied a specific reason for needing a firearm, denying access to people who stated they simply wanted to protect themselves.
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“In this case, petitioners and respondents agree that ordinary, law-abiding citizens have a similar right to carry handguns publicly for their self-defense. We too agree, and now hold, consistent 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,” Justice Clarence Thomas wrote in the Court’s opinion. “Because the State of New York issues public-carry 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.