New York governor ready 'to go back to muskets' in fight over guns

In one of the more extreme reactions to the Supreme Court’s reaffirmation this week of the Second Amendment’s protections of Americans’ right to keep and bear arms – without proving to government some “special” reason – New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said she’s ready “to go back to muskets.”

She lashed out after the high court issued its 6-3 decision that her state’s requirement that people prove to officials some “special” need before they can get a permit to carry a gun in public was unconstitutional.

The opinion pointed out that the Second Amendment right should not depend on permission from a government bureaucrat.

In response, Hochul threatened that her state is “just getting started” on its gun fight.

“Today, the Supreme Court is sending us backwards in our efforts to protect families and prevent gun violence. And it’s particularly painful that this came down at this moment. We are still dealing with families in pain from mass shootings that have occurred, the loss of life, their beloved children and grandchildren. Today, the Supreme Court struck down a New York law that limits who can carry concealed weapons,” she said.

“Does everyone understand what a concealed weapon means? That you have no forewarning that someone can hide a weapon on them and go into our subways, going to our grocery stores, like stores up in Buffalo, New York, where I’m from. This decision isn’t just reckless. It’s reprehensible. It’s not what New Yorkers want,” she said.

A poll from Convention of the States Action, in partnership with The Trafalgar Group, was released just after the opinion, documenting that 53.5% of voters say the Second Amendment exists to protect self, family and property, while another 29.2% say it is to protect against government tyranny.

“The Supreme Court’s landmark ruling on the 2nd Amendment underscores what Americans already know–that the 2nd Amendment fundamentally exists to afford citizens the right to self-defense. Our data shows that an overwhelming majority of voters agree with the self-defense principle outlined in this decision,” said Mark Meckler, president of Convention of States Action. “As violence increases in our cities and public shootings continue, politicians should be looking for ways to empower good citizens to protect our streets, cities, towns, schools, and churches, rather than the counter-productive gun grab Congress is currently moving forward with. Remember, November is coming.”

Joe Biden said he was “deeply disappointed” that the Supreme Court affirmed the Second Amendment as a right protected in the Constitution.

“Since 1911, the State of New York has required individuals who would like to carry a concealed weapon in public to show a need to do so for the purpose of self-defense and to acquire a license. More than a century later, the United States Supreme Court has chosen to strike down New York’s long-established authority to protect its citizens,” he claimed.

He said states should adopt “laws to make their citizens and communities safer from gun violence.”

New York’s requirement for a “proper cause” to get a gun permit gave state bureaucrats unlimited discretion to decide who would, and would not, gain that permission.

“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.”

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., claimed in a statement the ruling is “not just irresponsible, it is downright dangerous.”

She said, “Our nation is in the middle of a gun violence epidemic and instead of working to protect our communities, this court has made it even easier for potentially dangerous people to carry concealed handguns in public spaces.”

The majority opinion from the court, however, noted a number of examples of people who were carrying preventing what could have been a huge tragedies.

House Republican Conference Chairwoman Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., praised the decision for upholding the rights of “law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms and correctly declares New York’s shameful attempt to shred Second Amendment rights of New Yorkers unconstitutional.”

One social media commenter pointed out, “If you have to ask for permission to exercise a right, then it’s not a right at all.”

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