New Yorkers ‘less safe from gun violence’ thanks to Supreme Court striking down New York law, Mayor Adams says

Thursday’s Supreme Court decision to kill a century-old concealed carry gun law in New York state makes all of New York City less safe from the dangers of gun violence, according to Mayor Eric Adams.

Speaking from the City Hall rotunda alongside Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell on June 23, Adams denounced the SCOTUS ruling that struck down New York’s law requiring residents to have permits to carry firearms outside their home. The 6-3 vote has the mayor and other New York officials concerned that the fight against gun violence will be set back years while also putting New Yorkers at greater risk of deadly shootings.

Photo by Dean Moses

“The Supreme Court decision was keeping me up at night, it’s now escalated to the point where we won’t have any point,” Adams began. “We can say with certainty that this decision has made every single one of us less safe from gun violence. The decision ignores the shocking crisis of gun violence every day engulfing not only in New York but engulfing our entire country. The opinion claims to be based on national historical acts but does not account for the reality of today.”

The decision rescinds restrictions on concealed guns, citing the constitutional right to self-defense as reasons for New Yorkers to have the right to carry handguns in public without permit.

Since 1911 New York’s law has implemented a “proper cause” requirement for those seeking to carry a handgun in public. This new ruling renders that law unconstitutional — and comes as the Mayor and NYPD have been rigorously battling to taper the seemingly out-of-control gun violence plaguing both the city and the state.

In the last several months alone, Buffalo saw a tragic, racism-fueled mass shooting that left 10 dead; the Bronx witnessed a gang-related shooting that killed 11-year-old Kyhara Tay; and most recently, on Father’s Day, Harlem experienced a mass shooting that killed basketball star Darius Lee.

Mayor Eric Adams and Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell.Photo by Dean Moses

Despite seeing this rule as a major blow in curbing gun violence, top cop Sewell drove home the fact as of now nothing will change. 

“This case has been remanded back to the lower courts, so the important thing to know today is that nothing changes. If you have a premise permit that does not automatically converge to a carry permit. If you carry a gun illegally in New York City, you will be arrested. Nothing changes today. And that’s important for everyone to be aware of,” Commissioner Sewell said.

However, the mayor says he will be watching the process unfold closely and is extremely concerned for the future and potential impacts this ruling could have.

“If this rule is implemented, the iron pipeline is going to be the Van Wyck, not the I-95. People are going to be empowered to believe they can carry. This has a significant impact on not only those guns that come up the pipeline, but the guns that are being sold,” the mayor said.

Governor Kathy Hochul also responded to SCOTUS’ decision calling it a “frightful” setback that has stripped away the rights of New York. 

Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell.Photo by Dean Moses

“The Supreme Court of the United States of America has stripped away the state of New York’s right and responsibility to protect its citizens with a decision – which we are still digesting – which is frightful in its scope of how they are setting back this nation and our ability to protect our citizens back to the days of our founding fathers. And the language we’re reading is shocking,” Hochul said. 

President Joe Biden denounced this decision as well, calling in a “contradiction to common sense and the constitution.”