Bruen Dissent and Gun Control (Part 17)

by | Nov 11, 2022 | Blog, Criminal Law, Monmouth County, New Jersey, Ocean County

Supreme Court - Gun RightsThe dissent continued: These numbers reflect in part the fact that these “may issue” jurisdictions contain some of the country’s densest and most populous urban areas, e.g., New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, the District of Columbia, Honolulu, and Boston. U. S. Census Bureau, Urban Area Facts (Oct. 8, 2021), https://www.census .gov/programs-surveys/geography/guidance/geo-areas/ urban-rural/ua-facts.html. New York City, for example, has a population of about 8.5 million people, making it more populous than 38 States, and it squeezes that population into just over 300 square miles. Quick Facts: New York City; 2020 Population; Brief for City of New York as Amicus Curiae 8, 22.

As I explained above, supra, at 8–9, densely populated urban areas face different kinds and degrees of dangers from gun violence than rural areas. It is thus easy to see why the seven “may issue” jurisdictions might choose to regulate firearm carriage more strictly than other States. See Grossman 199 (“We find strong evidence that more urban states are less likely to shift to ‘shall issue’ than rural states”). New York and its amici present substantial data justifying the State’s decision to retain a “may issue” licensing regime. The data show that stricter gun regulations are associated with lower rates of firearm-related death and injury. See, e.g., Brief for Citizens Crime Commission of New York City as Amicus Curiae 9–11; Brief for Former Major City Police Chiefs as Amici Curiae 9–12; Brief for Educational Fund 25–28; Brief for Social Scientists et al. as Amici Curiae 9–19.

The dissent relies heavily on statistics to support its reasoning. However, statistics related to gun violence are difficult to quantify. How many of the incidents of gun violence involved a suicide? While tragic, this is not the sort of violence that your average person has to fear with regard to firearms as gun violence concerns principally relate to the threats posed by others. Moreover, the fact that three quarters of our states have permitted expansive gun carriage laws tends to support the opposing view that law-abiding gun carriers are the best deterrent against those who use guns unlawfully against others.