NY Governor Hochul Calls Supreme Court's Gun Decision 'Reprehensible'

New York Governor Kathy Hochul denounced a Supreme Court’s decision on Thursday, June 23, that overturned a century-old state gun regulation, thereby allowing the concealed carrying of guns in public places.

The court ruled with a vote of 6-3 that the right to carry a concealed weapon in public is a fundamental right, especially for self-defense purposes, nullifying a state law that required citizens to provide “proper cause” to authorities to acquire a concealed-carry permit.

“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,” wrote Justice Clarence Thomas, a senior conservative judge.

Hochul said the decision was “sending us backwards in our efforts to protect families and prevent gun violence” and “could place millions of New Yorkers in harm’s way.”

Her remarks came during a press conference during which she signed Alyssa’s Law, which will require schools to have silent panic alarms that are directly linked to law enforcement. The law is named for Alyssa Alhadeff, a 14-year-old student killed in the 2018 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Credit: Governor Kathy Hochul via Storyful

Video transcript

KATHY HOCHUL: As governor of the State of New York, my number one priority is to keep New Yorkers safe. But 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, [? where ?] we're 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. 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, go into our grocery stores, like stores up in Buffalo, New York, where I'm from, go into a school in Parkland or Uvalde. This could place millions of New Yorkers in harm's way, and this is at a time when we're still mourning the loss of lives, as I just mentioned.

This decision isn't just reckless. It's reprehensible. It's not what New Yorkers want, and we should have the right of determination of what we want to do in terms of our gun laws in our state. If the federal government will not have sweeping laws to protect us, then our states and our governors have a moral responsibility to do what we can and have laws that protect our citizens because of what is going on-- the insanity of the gun culture that has now possessed everyone all the way up, even to the Supreme Court.

The law we're talking about has been in place since the early 1900s. And now, to have our ability to determine who is eligible for a concealed carry permit-- this is not an ordinary permit. This is a special use that you can hide it from people. We had limitations. If it's for a proper cause, someone who's been threatened, someone who needs it for their job as a security guard, we have classifications where it is allowed and have been allowed for over 100 years.

But we do not need people entering our subways, our restaurants, our movie theaters with concealed weapons. We don't need more guns on our streets. We're already dealing with a major gun violence crisis. We don't need to add more fuel to this fire.