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For some advocates, gun arbitrage can correct racial mistakes

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The Associated Press

Associated Press

Jennifer Peltz

New York (AP) — blamed by liberal leaders when the US Supreme Court breaks New York's strict restrictions on who can carry a pistol Erupted and activist.

However, some public lawyers, often progressive activist allies, say that the rules permitting guns like New York have long been racist licenses, courts. Praised the ruling.

By making it a crime for most people to carry a pistol, Newyork and several other states have people (overwhelmingly colored) for legitimate acts elsewhere. Race) will be placed behind the courtroom. Complain.

"New York gun licensing rules are applied arbitrarily and discriminatory, disproportionately trapping the people we represent, most of them in color. Comes from the community of the Legal Assistance Association, "said the Legal Assistance Association. Represents a criminal defendant who cannot afford to hire his own lawyer.

Thursday's court ruling stated that if New Yorkers seeking a gun license wanted to carry their pistols in public, they would have to show an unusual threat to their safety, a 100-year-old law. It was about.

It wasn't enough to just want a gun for personal defense. And the police station or the judiciary was given a wide range of discretion in deciding who should and deserves to carry a gun.

Reasons may include being a retired law enforcement officer, working as an armed guard, or engaging in the business of transporting valuables. Several other states have similar standards.

The Supreme Court, in the majority opinion of Judge Clarence Thomas, states that the New York system violates the right to "maintain armed rights" in Article 2 of the US Constitutional Amendment. I did.

Both Democrats, the Governor of New York and the Mayor of New York, quickly began looking for other potential guardrails to carry guns. Governor Kathy Hokul will meet with state legislators at the end of the month to promote new gun safety legislation.

Ideas include banning in certain areas such as the subway and requiring weapons training to obtain permits. Authorities argue that making guns easy to carry is dangerous. They envision more discussion turning into a deadly conflict when the country is already plagued by gun violence.

Some civil rights leaders agree. Rev. Al Sharpton called the Supreme Court's ruling "catastrophic," and said the National Urban League and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund were especially so for blacks.

In a court friend summary, two groups show that black Americans, especially teens and young men, are more likely to die from shooting. I pointed out the statistics. Do white or ordinary people.

"If the Supreme Court had been actively looking for ways to make the country more unstable and dangerous, it would not have been possible to devise a more damaging scenario." League President Mark Morial said after the ruling.

However, about 12 lawyers in New York's elected defense agencies and organizations cited other statistics.

Last year, blacks faced 78% of alleged felony gun possessions in the state, accounting for 18% of the population. In contrast, 7% of non-Hispanic white indictments and 70% of the population said defenders in a summary of their own court friends. According to Filing, more than 90% of people arrested for possessing firearms in New York City are blacks and / or Latino Americans, but non-Hispanic whites make up almost one-third of the city's population. I am.

Defenders, whose numbers are rooted in a history of racist anxiety about racial and ethnic minorities with firearms, are "expensive and annoying. It claims to be facilitated by a "discretionary licensing process".

New York Police Department statistics show that about 3,500 civilians in 8.5 million cities have "business carry" licenses, and an additional 2,000 guards are allowed to carry guns at work. I have. About 15,000 retired law enforcement officers have their own type of license. The department did not provide a breakdown of licensees by race.

"Whites across the country collect firearms as a hobby, but blacks and Latin New Yorkers are arrested, charged, and charged with just one pistol for self-defense. "I'm imprisoned," wrote some of the briefs' authors. An October article on the Scottus blog, a legal news site.

One defendant was a working father and a college student who took a gun to a neighborhood where his face was cut. According to advocates, he eventually dropped out of college after serving eight months in jail. Another man was infected with COVID-19 and was imprisoned on bail of $ 100,000 and died last fall, claiming he had a gun in his car.

Another defendant, a military veteran who served in Iraq and legally owned a gun in her hometown of Texas, was arrested in New York for having a weapon in her car. I did. She was imprisoned for several weeks before her bail, was subjected to procedures ignoring her child, and was kept away from the two little boys for a year. The criminal case was finally dismissed.

"I lost everything: my job, my car, my house, and my children," she said in a court filing.

In Chicago, Cook County official defender Sharone Mitchell Jr. said that Illinois's firearms law is strict, but New York-style "justification". I'm sure it doesn't include the criteria. He — less often to keep guns off the street than to put people in jail. A quarter of his case load does not include any charges other than possession of a gun.

"There is a gun problem and there is an end, but failed policies are part of the problem," Mitchell said in a statement after the Supreme Court's ruling in a New York case. "These laws put thousands of blacks in jail not because they promoted racist enforcement and were accused of harming someone, but because they didn't have or couldn't get the necessary licenses. "Send."

The High Court points out that states can still demand licenses and impose some conditions, and New York and other states with similar laws say they are still. Make sure you look carefully at the margins you have.

However, some lawyers have suggested that lawmakers should take a broader view of gun safety.

"Regulation and criminalization are not our only options," said Corey Stoughton, a lawyer for the Legal Assistance Association, which focuses on legislative and regulatory reform. She points to approaches such as violence intervention programs.

"If you want to reduce the number of guns, you need to reassure people," Storton said. "And we have a way to invest in our community and be a positive approach to making people feel safer."