The Looming Crisis for the Gun Safety Movement

The Looming Crisis for the Gun Safety Movement

The gun safety movement finds itself on the precipice of disaster. With new grass-roots and advocacy organizations, better financing, and stronger support from the Democratic Party, it has, arguably, never been stronger. But on Wednesday, the Supreme Court will hear a case that is likely to call into question many of the reforms at the top of the movement’s agenda. The justices are considering the constitutionality of a New York law that makes it hard for residents to obtain a permit to carry concealed firearms in public. The court, with three conservative pro-gun justices appointed by former President Donald Trump, will almost certainly say New York’s law is too restrictive under the Second Amendment — which will lead, predictably, to more guns on city streets and more violent crime. The New York case could also signal the beginning of a new era of judicial hostility to gun laws, especially to the bans on assault weapons and large-capacity magazines that the reinvigorated gun safety movement has fought so hard to get enacted. With a single decision, the Supreme Court majority could transform life in many American cities — and stymie the growing political movement for gun reform. Advocates and activists need an agenda that can survive the Supreme Court’s new interpretation of the Second Amendment. Fighting to restrict the quantity and kinds of guns owned by citizens will be a losing battle. Instead, it is time to focus on policies that will reduce the violence all those guns in America […]

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