The Supreme Court’s June ruling in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen has courts tossing out “proper cause” gun licensing laws and other regulations as unconstitutional. Under this new regulatory régime, policymakers should be paying special attention to the perspectives of law enforcement leaders and other experts, write Walter Katz, vice president of criminal justice at Arnold Ventures, and Michael S. Harrison, commissioner of the Baltimore Police Department in an op-ed for NBC Think.
“As the tide moves in the direction of more guns on the streets and fewer regulations, police chiefs are the first to point out that this trend makes their jobs more difficult and puts officers at a higher risk of injury or death,” Katz and Harrison write. “That danger extends to everyone in the community — children, the elderly and passersby on the street.”
This call to heed the perspectives of police chiefs comes as federal judges are striking down long-standing firearm laws, including a prohibition on domestic abusers under a protective order from having a gun and a prohibition on the possession of a firearm with an altered or removed serial number.
Meanwhile, gun deaths have skyrocketed, reaching a new peak in 2020 — 45,222 deaths.
“The sheer number of firearm victims should convince federal and state policymakers to listen to the experts, including researchers and law enforcement leaders who have both evidence-based research and specific, practical policies to keep people safe,” Katz and Harrison write.
Read the entire oped on NBC Think: How judges and state legislatures are making police officers and civilians less safe