Advocates react to SCOTUS striking down restrictive gun law

Advocates react to SCOTUS striking down restrictive gun law
Published: Jun. 23, 2022 at 10:35 PM EDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB/WSHM) -A major Supreme Court ruling striking down a New York gun law has implications across the nation, including here in Massachusetts. The decision to expand gun rights, as gun violence and mass shootings increase across the country. We spoke with advocates from both sides of the argument.

This hot button issue has been a topic of discussion across the country since the deadly mass shootings in Uvalde Texas, Buffalo, New York, and Tulsa, Oklahoma.

The US Supreme Court decision leaves some feeling scared, while others say they’re hopeful. The U.S. Supreme Court decided on Thursday to strike down a New York State gun law, calling it unconstitutional.

“Oh, not surprised. It was expected. This is not your grandmother’s or grandfather’s supreme court any longer,” said John Rosenthal, co-founder of Stop Handgun Violence.

“I think it should have been done a long time ago,” said Arlo Guthrie, Guns Inc. employee.

The case brought in front of the supreme court was the National Rifle Association’s affiliate New York State Rifle & Pistol Association vs. New York State. It focused on a century-old New York law that requires gun owners to show ‘proper cause’ to carry a handgun in public.

Six other states across the country have similar laws in place, including Massachusetts. John Rosenthal, the co-founder of Stop Hand Gun Violence in Massachusetts, said this SCOTUS decision has him feeling nervous about Baystate gun laws.

“This is a step back. T started this effort in 1994...That’s one million dead Americans ago, lost in largely preventable gun violence,” said Rosenthal.

Rosenthal said this is a step in the wrong direction, at a time when mass shootings are happening almost daily, and gun violence is up across the country.

“That’s why we have more gun deaths than 27 industrialized nations combined,” Rosenthal said.

On the other side of the argument sits Arlo Guthrie, an employee and gun enthusiast at Guns Inc. in West Springfield. He said a change in legislation like this could lead to the expansion of gun rights in Massachusetts, to people who safely and legally carry weapons.

“To me, an armed law-abiding citizen is an advantage to this country, and not prohibited people running around with stolen guns,” Guthrie said.

He believes this could mean more training for those looking to get their license and that could come at a cost.

“It will increase the training cost so if you have someone that’s short on money, they won’t go get the training and they won’t be able to exercise their second amendment rights,” Guthrie said.

The Supreme Court Decision does not directly affect Massachusetts gun laws at this time. However, it’s a concern of legislators that anyone can challenge those laws, and the supreme court’s ruling will take precedent, so the state laws could be abolished.