As anticipated, Southland and California Democrats reacted angrily Thursday to a U.S. Supreme Court ruling striking down a New York law that restricts concealed weapons licenses, calling it an attack on public safety — while gun-rights groups hailed it as a “watershed” decision in support of gun rights.
Gov. Gavin Newsom called the 6-3 ruling “a dark day in America.”
“This is a dangerous decision from a court hell-bent on pushing a radical ideological agenda and infringing on the rights of states to protect our citizens from being gunned down in our streets, schools and churches,” he wrote on Twitter. “Shameful.”
Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer said the ruling will endanger public safety.
“As mass shootings and daily incidents of gun violence devastate families across our nation, today’s reckless Supreme Court ruling will make all Americans less safe — and that includes Angelenos,” Feuer said in a statement.
“Allowing more guns in public places is a recipe for tragedy and a nightmare for law enforcement striving to protect our families. In the wake of this dangerous decision, we will do everything in our power to safeguard vital California and Los Angeles laws that have prevented countless acts of gun violence.”
Sen. Alex Padilla, D-California, also said the ruling would make communities “less safe.”
“At the same time as the Senate advances bipartisan legislation to take on America’s crisis of gun violence, the extreme right-wing majority on the Supreme Court has chosen to exacerbate it,” Padilla, a former Los Angeles City Council member and state senator, said in a statement.
“This dangerous decision misinterprets the Constitution and jeopardizes gun safety laws in a number of states, including California, which has some of the most effective gun safety measures in the nation.”
The ruling focused on the New York law’s requirement for people to show a “special need” to carry a concealed weapon, beyond a simple desire for self-defense. California has a similar restriction that will likely be undone by the ruling.
The group Gun Owners of California called the ruling “incredible,” saying, “text, history and tradition at the founding is the new standard.”
National Rifle Association CEO and Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre hailed the ruling.
“Today’s ruling is a watershed win for good men and women all across America and is the result of a decades-long fight the NRA has led,” he said in a statement. “The right to self-defense and to defend your family and loved ones should not end at your home.”
He added: “This ruling brings life-saving justice to law-abiding Americans who have lived under unconstitutional regimes all across our country.”
Jason Ouimet, executive director for the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action, called it a “monumental win.”
“New York’s egregious law, which left its residents’ self-defense rights to the whim of a government bureaucrat, has been declared unconstitutional and must be changed,” Ouimet said in a statement. “New Yorkers will soon be able to defend themselves outside of their homes without first having to prove that they have a sufficient `need’ to exercise their fundamental rights.”