FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 22, 2021
Tom Fazzini, West End Strategy Team
Based on Public Health Data, Supreme Court Should Uphold NY Gun Law, Argues 36 Gun Violence Prevention Organizations and Experts in Amicus Brief for NYSRPA v. Bruen
Led by the Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence, brief argues that case should be decided by overwhelming evidence that increased carrying of guns in public leads to more gun violence
Washington, D.C. — An amicus brief submitted with the Supreme Court in NYSRPA v. Bruen argues that public health research should be a primary consideration of Second Amendment analyses, particularly in the context of public carry laws. The brief, led by the Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence and signed by 35 other public health experts and gun violence prevention organizations, argues that the New York state licensing law at stake in the NYSRPA case should not be overturned.
The brief offers a new, evidence-based critique of the gun violence epidemic, framing it as a public health issue and focusing on the risks —supported in hard data — of carrying and possessing a firearm in public. The brief incorporates findings from issue-area experts and, at its core, argues that public health data is indispensable when reaching legal determinations about firearm possession and usage.
“Empirical data overwhelmingly demonstrates that increased carrying of guns in public is associated with increased gun violence,” said Tim Carey, Law & Policy Staff Attorney at the Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence. “This amicus brief argues that gun violence is a public health issue and the court should focus on the evidence-informed risks of public firearm carrying and possession. Like all public health issues, it is important to rely on hard data and other evidence-based considerations when weighing a decision of this magnitude.”
NYSRPA v. Bruen is a case involving New York state’s permitting process for concealed carry licenses. The implications of the ruling in the case could stretch far beyond New York by allowing further deregulation of firearms in public spaces, which would greatly expand the public health crisis of gun violence. The case figures to be the most consequential decision involving the Second Amendment since 2008’s District of Columbia v. Heller.
In Heller, the Supreme Court held, for the first time, that the Second Amendment bestowed an individual right to possess firearms for self defense. However, the Heller decision limited the “core” of that right to possess guns in the home for the purpose of self defense. The Supreme Court never held how the individual right under the Second Amendment applies outside of the home. NYSRPA v. Bruen could give the Supreme Court a chance to make it dramatically more difficult to regulate firearms in public, or change how lower courts have to evaluate Second Amendment claims in a way that weakens existing laws.
The Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence (EFSGV) collaborated with the Consortium for Risk-Based Firearm Policy in drafting the brief. The Consortium is a group convened by EFSGV that includes the nation’s leading researchers and academics with expertise at the intersections of gun violence prevention and public health, law, behavioral health, medicine, criminology, and related fields.
About the Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence
The Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence (EFSGV) develops and advocates for evidence-based solutions to reduce gun injury and death in all its forms. EFSGV uses a public health and equity lens to identify and implement evidence-based policy solutions and programs to reduce gun violence in all its forms and to make gun violence rare and abnormal. EFSGV is the gun violence prevention movement’s premier research intermediary and founder of the Consortium for Risk-Based Firearm Policy, a group of academics and practitioners who collaborate to develop innovative recommendations for policymakers.