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Will Supreme Court's Allowing Guns In Public Make U.S. A 'Free-For-All'?

Law enforcement leaders decried a new Supreme Court ruling that will make it easier for New York state residents to carry guns publicly.

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison and Art Acevedo, former police chief of Austin, Houston and Miami were among those who spoke Tuesday on a panel on "Protecting Public Safety" sponsored by The Washington Post, with the Council on Criminal Justice. The discussion touched on ensuring police accountability and public trust in an era of rising homicide rates and mass shootings.

The Supreme Court last week overturned a century-old New York law that said people applying to carry a gun outside of the home must have a “proper” reason.

Maryland has gun restrictions almost identical to those overturned in New York. If Maryland’s laws also are overturned, Harrison said it would make his job “more difficult and less safe.” Acevedo expressed the fear that the ruling will would turn America into a “free-for-all.”

The high court's rulings late last week on gun control and abortion have had Minnesota's Ellison “reeling.”

Ellison expressed disappointment in Congress for not passing the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act. The law would have promoted police reform by creating a national registry to prevent officers who were fired for brutality from joining other departments. He also said that many police brutality cases are costing cities millions of dollars in damages.

DeRay Mckesson, co-founder of Campaign Zero, a movement working to end violence by police, spoke about what police can do to rebuild public trust. Mckesson has witnessed people not calling the police during emergencies due to a lack of trust. He said many people did not believe the Black community's concerns about police brutality until the George Floyd killing went viral.

Police are working to engage with the community, but Mckesson said these efforts are not working due to continuing instances of police brutality.

Panel speaker Vanita Gupta, U.S. Associate Attorney General, called the high court's overturning of Roe v. Wade “devastating.” She said that, while the Justice Department would use every available tool to protect citizens, it’s up to Congress to pass legislation to protect abortion access.


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A daily report co-sponsored by Arizona State University, Criminal Justice Journalists, and the National Criminal Justice Association

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