Local 2nd Amendment advocates hail SCOTUS ruling; opponents motivated for more gun safety laws

Reactions from a Republican lawmaker supporting the ruling and an anti-violence group concerned about a setback for safety
Published: Jun. 23, 2022 at 6:30 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 23, 2022 at 11:00 PM CDT
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - It was a landmark ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday, striking down New York’s new concealed-carry law. The statute restricted who can carry a concealed handgun outside their home by requiring them to show “proper cause” -- or a specific, special need -- to carry a firearm in public places.

The court’s ruling came from a legal challenge made by a group of New York gun owners who argued the state law violated the U.S. Constitution. The decision comes amid a surge in gun violence across the country and follows recent mass shootings in Buffalo, New York, and Uvalde, Texas, which have prompted action in Congress to pass new gun safety measures.

Nationally and locally, the Supreme Court’s decision immediately drew reaction from both sides. You have people who applaud it for protecting the Second Amendment. Others are disappointed and call it a temporary setback.

Republican state lawmaker John Macco says the Supreme Court showed that some states and cities go too far.

“Today we were encouraged that the U.S. Supreme Court reiterated that the Second Amendment is not an optional amendment, that people in this country have a right to carry a weapon and protect themselves,” Rep. Macco said.

The organization Wisconsin Anti-Violence Effort expressed concern for the safety of communities. It says this ruling energizes them even more to pursue gun safety legislation.

“To the extent which this particular opinion has an impact nationwide will remain to be seen, but the overall message and mission of the decision today in [the ruling] is very concerning, very troubling for all of us who are concerned for the safety and security of our nation,” James Santelle, board member of the Wisconsin Anti-Violence Effort, said.

There’s a level of uncertainty on what this ruling means for some gun laws already on the books, but what is certain is the Supreme Court expanded protections for gun owners.

The Wisconsin Anti-Violence Effort said it confuses Americans at a time when Congress is on the verge of passing a bipartisan bill to curtail the nation’s gun violence. The bill passed the U.S. Senate Thursday night and is expected to pass in the House on Friday. Wisconsin’s senators were split in the vote. In their written statements, Democrat Tammy Baldwin called it the most significant reforms against gun violence since the 1990s; Republican Sen. Ron Johnson’s office called the legislation flawed.

Macco says laws shouldn’t make it harder for him to buy and carry a gun as a responsible gun owner.

“We’ve got to do a better job, I think, of making sure that law-abiding people like myself, who has a concealed carry permit, are not impacted by criminals that are going off the deep end,” Macco said.

While both disagree on the approach to solving America’s gun violence, they both agreed that it is a problem that needs to be addressed.

The reaction to the landmark ruling was swift, nationally and locally

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