The nation’s highest court has struck down New York state gun ‘restrictions’ on carrying guns, even as America faces a spike in crime in big cities and a frightening series of mass killings, including two in May in Buffalo (10 African-American dead) and in a school in Texas (21 killed, including 19 children).
“It’s stupid, just stupid,” exclaims to AFP Sushmita Peters, a New Yorker from the popular borough of Queens who says she fears new massacres at “school or hospital”.
“From now on, we can’t trust anyone,” thinks this 23-year-old employee.
Upon the shock announcement of the Supreme Court’s judgment in Washington, Kathy Hochul, Democratic Governor of New York State (fourth in the country, 20 million inhabitants) denounced a “scandalous, absolutely scandalous” decision which “removes our rights to enjoy sensible restrictions” on firearms.
“I am sorry that this dark day has come,” added the chosen one.
“Wave of violence”
For his part, Mayor Eric Adams of New York City, a cultural mosaic with profound economic inequalities of nine million souls, expressed his fear that the Supreme Court’s case law could fuel “a wave of violence by firearm. fire”.
This strong African-American city councilor, a former police captain who has made the fight against gun violence the backbone of his mandate, promised “cooperation to curb the risks created by this decision”.
Because “we can’t let New York turn into the Wild West,” he said.
Ms. Hochul also attacked the absence of “limits to the second amendment” of the American Constitution, in allusion to the provision of 1791 which has protected in the United States for more than 200 years the right to possess a firearm .
The governor finally attacked the conservative justices of the Supreme Court in Washington on Twitter, accusing them of having acted in a “reckless” manner. She promised to “protect New Yorkers from gun violence.”
His fellow New York State Justice, the very active Attorney General Letitia James, called the Supreme Court ruling “incredibly disappointing” and pledged to “defend the constitutionality of state laws”.
New York worries
The Supreme Court’s decision concerns a New York law that since 1913 has limited the issuance of concealed weapons permits to people who have reason to believe that they may have to defend themselves, for example because of their profession. or threats against them.
This legislation was being challenged in court by two gun owners, who had been denied licenses, and an affiliate of the powerful National Riffle Association (NRA), which campaigns for a literal reading of the Second Amendment to the Constitution.
Interviewed by AFP, residents of New York are “worried” that “more and more people may carry weapons”.
Like Laurent Baud, a 38-year-old businessman, who found that “people have been very comfortable in recent years because the city was very safe”, after the 1970-1980 decades of great violence.
“But it’s still New York and I think we still need to be careful,” he breathes.
Mohammed, who did not wish to give his last name, is a 38-year-old Kuwaiti artist, including 20 years in New York: he castigates a “terrible” stop and says he fears for “his children at school”.
Only Sam, a 75-year-old white man, thinks “it’s a good idea, self-defense, because when someone knows you’re carrying a gun, they behave cautiously.”
Faithful to their position since always, the elected representatives of the Republican Party have also praised the decision of the Supreme Court: their boss in the House of Representatives, Kevin McCarthy, estimated on Twitter that the judgment “guarantees the right of Americans law-abiding people to protect themselves without interference from the federal government.