Mark W. Smith: Smart, but wrong – within the arguments against weapons in the Supreme Court

Arms attorneys are both smart and relentless. This is a key point to be understood, as the Supreme Court is considering a major case of a second amendment, New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen.

In previous posts (here in here), I have shown why New York State has a weak case of restricting the right to bear arms outside the home. In accordance with the clear standard set by the Supreme Court, the New York Weapons Act should not be declared constitutional. This standard established in District of Columbia v. Heller, considers that the constitutionality of gun laws addresses the text, history and tradition of the Second Amendment, and the right to bear arms during the founding of America.

It’s no surprise, then, that New York attorneys are pressuring the court to change the standard. They insist that the interest in promoting public safety is justified by the state restrictive public transport law. This approach allows them to paint a picture of “blood flowing through the streets” if a court lifts restrictions in New York City.

But this picture is completely misleading. Even if everyone suddenly agreed to accept public safety concerns as the standard for revising New York’s gun law, New York’s defense should fail.

In this photo from a June 26, 2008 file, gun rights advocates hold banners in front of the Supreme Court in Washington after a court ruled that Americans have a constitutional right to have guns in their homes for self-defense. (AP Photo / Jose Luis Magana, file)

The truth is that the best way to protect public safety is to ensure strong public transportation laws. Why? Well, it’s an old saying: “When guns are banned, only apostates will have guns.”

It was part of the wisdom understood by the American founders. One of the thinkers who strongly influenced them was the eighteenth-century Italian criminologist Cesare Beccaria. In an excerpt copied by Thomas Jefferson into his personal “Ordinary legal book, ”Beccaria said, that laws banning the carrying of weapons ultimately disarm only those“ who are not willing to commit a crime that the laws want to prevent ”. Restrictive gun laws, Beccaria added, do not prevent murder, but encourage it, “because it takes less courage than armed men to attack unarmed people.” He likened the ban on weapons to taking fire “for fear of being burned” or water “for fear of drowning.”

Consider what will happen if the Supreme Court lifts the New York restriction on public transmission. Who will eventually obtain the download licenses? Citizens who respect the law. Even if New York lifts the restriction, applicants for transportation permits are likely to still have to meet eligibility requirements, such as confirmation that they are not criminals, that they are not mentally ill, and that they do not use illicit drugs. A copy of the current download application is here.

New York attorneys should be aware of data showing that it is very unlikely that holders of covert carrying permits will commit crimes. Data for example, the Crime Prevention Research Center (CPRC) states that while police commit firearms offenses at a rate of 16.5 per 100,000 police officers, the rate for license holders in Florida and Texas is only 1.4 per 100,000, with similar data in other countries. . Regardless of the exact comparison with the police, the statistics on the revocation of permits clearly show that the vast majority of transfer license holders comply with the law.

As a rule, police officers have the right to carry concealed firearms every country within a country under the federal Law on the Safety of Law Enforcement Officials. Law-abiding citizens – who are, after all, first responders themselves (see my video here) – should have the same right.

Soon after the Supreme Court Heller researchers who are in favor of arms control examined the data and found that license holders pose a low risk of arms misuse. Consequently, they are researchers he said they were expected to have a “relatively small impact on public safety”. Heller if public transmission became more widespread.

Crime figures have confirmed this prediction. Over the last two decades, the number of license holders has increased exponentially, while the rate of violent crime has increased. fell. As described in an amicus brif filed by law enforcement groups and others in Bruen, the number of holders of concealed carry permits increased from 2.7 million in 1999 to 19.48 million in 2019. And this figure actually underestimates the increase, as it now allows 21 countries not allowed hidden transmission, compared to 1 state (Vermont) in 1999.

But over the same period, the rate of violent crime fell by more than a quarter. FBI reports the violent crime rate of 523 per 100,000 population in 1999; by 2020, that number had dropped to 380.8.

Although licensed firearms carriers rarely commit crimes, thousands of gun owners use weapons for self-defense everyday. This is new, comprehensive survey led by political economist Georgetown dr. William English. English surveyed thousands of gun owners and found that nearly one-third of them used firearms to defend themselves or their property. This is true of approximately 25.3 million U.S. gun owners who have used firearms to defend against crime, meaning that there are approximately 1.67 million cases of armed self-defense or 4,575 each year. everyday.

To be clear, in the vast majority of these defensive uses of weapons, just waving or invoking a weapon was enough to eliminate the threat; only 18.1 percent actually fired. (For more on the English survey and the millions of Americans who have used firearms for self-defense, see my video.)

Proponents of gun rights are holding signs and listening to speakers at a gun rights rally and march at Utah State Capitol on March 2, 2013 in Salt Lake City, Utah.  The rally drew hundreds of people to march on the Utah Capitol in favor of the rights of the 2nd Amendment, as proponents of gun control are calling for greater restrictions and bans on assault weapons.  (Photo by George Frey / Getty Images)

Fans hold signs and listen to speakers at a gun rights rally. (File / George Frey / Getty Images)

And if allowing private citizens to carry firearms in public is such a threat to public safety, why have so many countries passed gun laws less restrictive? Since the 1980s, dozens of countries have moved from “no-issue” or “easy-to-issue” to “shall-issue” laws, meaning that applicants for a license do not have to prove a valid reason. In the meantime, no country went the other way. And 19 of the 21 countries that have accepted transposition without permission or “constitutional transposition” have done so since 2010. (See p. 5 amicus brif filed by the National Shooting Foundation.)

New York, with its May Restrictive Issues Act, is clearly on the wrong side of history.

But don’t expect to hear any of this evidence from gun lawyers in the upcoming Supreme Court Bruen Cover. They will present other arguments to try to show that public transmission threatens public safety. But even this evidence is weak, as I will reveal tomorrow.

* Attorney Mark W. Smith is a Presidential Fellow and Senior Associate for Law and Public Policy at The King’s College, but New York Times bestselling author and host and producer Diner with four boxes on YouTube, a channel that offers in-depth analysis on Second Amendment scholarships, legal matters, news, and issues.

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