Statement on SCOTUS decision in New York State Rifle & Pistol Asso­ci­ation Inc. v Bruen

Today, the Supreme Court has made this country less safe for young people with its decision in New York State Rifle & Pistol Asso­ci­ation Inc. v Bruen

For decades, we have witnessed the terrifying violence that a culture of white supremacy, toxic masculinity, and a cult-like reverence for guns has produced. We have seen attacks on children in schools, in supermarkets, in houses of worship. We’ve seen every kind of hate crime, from racist attacks to homophobia and transphobia to intimate partner violence.  

Many of these took place in the last month alone, and they were made far worse and far more deadly by the use of guns. Today, the court has chosen to ignore this reality by allowing anyone to conceal a deadly weapon without cause, and even stated that right is guaranteed by two different amendments to the Constitution. Conferring the right to concealed carry weapons in public spaces puts young people at significant risk for additional violence, trauma, and death. 

What we need from our government and our courts is comprehensive change and a sensible approach to gun control and criminal justice that keeps young people safe – both from firearm violence, and from police violence and selective enforcement against Black and Brown youth. We need the eradication of white supremacy and an end to patriarchy. We need to work together to ensure young people can live, learn, and thrive without fear or violence. 

But the Supreme Court has failed at even doing the minimum to protect our youth. The Court has let the gun lobby’s interests take precedence over basic public safety. Advocates for Youth condemns this cruel and dangerous dereliction of duty. Nearly every day, we are losing young people to gun violence, and it has become a leading cause of death among U.S. kids and teens. Our government must stop enabling these terrible tragedies and must prioritize the health and well-being of young people.