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Anti-violence community reacts to Supreme Court striking down gun law

Posted at 10:01 PM, Jun 23, 2022

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — The Supreme Court has struck down New York's 108-year-old handgun licensing law, saying it's unconstitutional to require those applying for a license to show a specific need to carry a weapon in public.

"We got free rein to actually have weapons, and carry them outwardly, and go wherever we want to go. Does that even sound logical? Let's be real. Does that even sound logical?" John Smith, vice-president of MAD DADS of Buffalo, said.

The bottom line is going to be easier to carry a weapon.

"It's going to open up the flood gates. They're coming. You're going to have people, like I said, when you're walking around it's going to be like the O.K. Corral," Kenneth Simmons, the Director of Youth and Recreation for the City of Buffalo, said.

Now, you just have to get a license and a background check. There's no interview process. That's something leaders in the anti-violence community strongly disagree with.

"We're building in the wrong way. We're going in the wrong direction whether black or white. I'm not saying take your guns away. I'm saying if you're strong enough and mandated to have it, securely by the law, I don't want our guns taken away. But you're not going to make it free enough for anyone to just walk around the neighborhood and brandish a firearm outwardly because they can," Smith said.

In the opinion, Justice Clarence Thomas wrote about how the use of the word "bear" in the Second Amendment means individuals have the right to carry a weapon outside of their home.

"The constitution was written in old Anglo-Saxon English. Our people was enslaved based on old Anglo-Saxon English. So he can take it, and for lack of a better term, can suck it," Simmons said.

This decision comes just weeks after the mass shooting at Tops on Jefferson Avenue and after years of an uptick in gun violence across Buffalo.

"Every day someone's getting shot already. You're opening the box to have more people getting shot. It doesn't make any sense. They're not looking here. They're not looking here. They can look at the massacre and debate it the way that they want to, but they're not looking here," Smith said.

Smith and Simmons said they're concerned about the period of time between now and when New York State is able to draft new gun laws.

"There's a loophole for somebody who has no business with a firearm to obtain one," Simmons said.

They said if you have a gun, you're going it. That will lead to more innocent deaths in the City of Buffalo.

"It's not going to happen in Beverly Hills. It's not going to happen in Buckhead. It's not going to happen in the Hamptons. It's going to happen on the East side of Buffalo. It's going to happen on the South side of Chicago. It's going to happen in Brooklyn and the Bronx. Baltimore, Maryland. Atlanta, Georgia. It's going to happen in places like that. We are going to feel the effects of these laws that I believe are directly targeted to eradicate and erase my people," Simmons said.