June 23, 2022
Please see below for a statement from Lawrence Gostin, faculty director of the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law and Georgetown University Law Center:
In the aftermath of a series of fatal mass shootings, and as rates of U.S. gun fatalities and ownership have increased, the Supreme Court’s decision in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. Bruen puts even more lives at risk. The Court’s opinion striking down a New York state “concealed carry” law threatens other existing state gun restrictions and will make it even harder to enact evidence-based gun control laws, from bans on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines to stronger universal background checks. A whole slew of state laws could fall, including Extreme Risk Protection Orders, age limits, and licensing regulations. The vast majority of Americans support sensible and evidence-based firearm safety laws. And while Congress’ progress on a bipartisan gun control bill must be commended, the bill itself doesn’t even begin to deal with the problem.
I am appalled by the Court’s decision, but not surprised. This was expected from the Court’s conservative supermajority who have long sought to define the Second Amendment expansively. Their decision was not constitutional, but purely political. Just as the nation grieves children and others who needlessly die from firearm violence, the nation’s highest court is making it much harder to protect the vulnerable.
For further comment or to schedule an interview, please contact Lauren Dueck at Lauren.Dueck@georgetown.edu.