Joint Public Defender Statement on U.S. Supreme Court Ruling in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. Bruen

(New York, NY) – Black Attorneys of Legal Aid, The Bronx Defenders, Brooklyn Defender Services, Monroe County Public Defender, Ontario County Conflict Defender’s Office, Ontario County Public Defender, Oneida County Public Defender, Wayne County Public Defender, and St. Lawrence County Public Defender released the following statement in response to the Supreme Court’s ruling in NYSRPA v. Bruen:

“New York enacted its firearm licensing requirement in the early 20th century to prevent immigrants and people of color from possessing guns. Since its enactment, the law has justified discriminatory policing and criminalization of Black and brown people living in urban low-income communities. As public defenders, we represent too many people of color who face years in prison not for shooting, but for simply possessing an unlicensed gun -- something that is legal in close to half of the country. New Yorkers prosecuted for simple gun possession are branded “criminals” and “violent felons” for life, facing mandatory prison sentences, separation from their communities and families, and an inability to maintain stable employment and housing. That is why we and other public defenders across the state filed an amicus brief asking the Supreme Court to put an end to New York’s discriminatory gun licensing scheme. Today’s ruling strikes down the carry provision of the law; however, it fails to address the discriminatory nature of the underlying gun licensing scheme and the criminalization of Black and brown New Yorkers."

View the full statement here.

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