United States – Just a few weeks ago, an armed 18-year-old entered a grocery store in a neighborhood with a high concentration of Black people in Buffalo, New York, and killed 10 people while hurting many more. An 18-year-old entered an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, and killed 19 students and two teachers.
Legislators are asking for increased security for Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh after a guy with a pistol was discovered close to his home and threatened to kill him due to his opinions in a recently published SCOTUS opinion. All of this is completely old news. Americans have watched in horror as criminals terrorizing American neighborhoods with weapons and high-capacity magazines do so more frequently each year.
Over the past ten years, the United States has experienced an increase in gun violence and mass shootings, despite Congress taking little meaningful action to solve this human rights disaster. Because their authorities did little to defend their human rights, Americans now live in fear.
In its first Second Amendment decision in more than a decade, N.Y. State Pistol & Rifle Ass’n v. Bruen, the U.S. Supreme Court today overturned a New York state rule requiring applicants to demonstrate “proper cause” before receiving a permit to carry a concealed weapon in public. This decision might have disastrous effects.
Amnesty International USA has urged the U.S. to act to address the epidemic of gun violence that jeopardizes people’s human rights on numerous occasions. With an estimated 390 million weapons that are still mostly unregulated, the United States currently has more guns than people. We submitted an amicus brief in N.Y. State Pistol & Rifle Assn v. Bruen because of this.
In this case, the petitioners effectively contended that any regulation of hidden firearms is in violation of the Constitution’s Second Amendment. However, they neglected to take into account the fact that the victims and future victims of private gun violence have rights, including the right to life, that their leaders are obligated to defend. In our brief, we claimed that the United States’ duty to defend its citizens’ human rights is violated by the absence of sensible gun safety measures.
In addition to being in accordance with the Second Amendment, laws like New York’s that impose licensing requirements on firearm possession and public carry fill a gap left by the absence of comprehensive and effective federal gun regulation. They also assist the United States in upholding its obligations under international human rights treaties.
The terrible pictures of violence that are horrifying will only worsen as a result of today’s SCOTUS decision, which further erodes the rights of all Americans.
We urge Congress to act immediately to enact life-saving legislation that stops people from exploiting the country’s lack of leadership on this problem and endangering citizens’ safety nationwide.