The Bruen Decision Is Allowing Many NYC Bodega Owners to Legally Arm Themselves
The Supreme Court’s Bruen decision, which recognized a constitutional right to carry a firearm in public, is shifting the landscape of gun rights in America, especially in traditionally anti-gun states. Despite the introduction of “carry killer” bills and the resistance of some activist judges, there’s progress in expanding the right to bear arms.
Before Bruen, the majority of states already operated under “shall issue” policies for concealed carry permits. The real change post-Bruen is seen in restrictive states, where the ruling has significantly broadened access to concealed carry licenses. For instance, Maryland has seen a surge in new concealed carry holders, Hawaii has issued its first licenses to civilians, and even in strong anti-gun regions like San Francisco, permits are being granted.
New York City, a focal point of resistance with Gov. Kathy Hochul and Mayor Eric Adams striving to maintain tight control, is also witnessing Bruen’s influence. Hundreds of bodega owners in the city are now legally armed. This decision by the bodega owners, supported by the United Bodegas of America, comes in response to ongoing violent thefts threatening their businesses.
Radhames Rodriguez, a member of the United Bodegas of America, is among those who have received a permit and now carries a gun for protection. He emphasizes that owning a gun brings more responsibility and a need for careful interaction with people. Fernando Mateo, another member, points out the challenges in obtaining a permit in New York City, highlighting the city’s continued effort to enforce “good moral character” criteria, despite a district judge’s ruling against such requirements.
Despite these obstacles, there’s growing interest among bodega workers in obtaining firearms for protection. Mateo addresses the common fear surrounding more guns in society, asserting that law-abiding gun owners are not the ones committing crimes. Instead, they can potentially defuse dangerous situations, contradicting the belief that more guns equate to more shootings.
The implementation of Bruen in New York City doesn’t signal a descent into lawlessness but rather marks a significant stride towards recognizing the constitutional right to self-defense. For the bodega workers now carrying firearms, Bruen’s decision is not just a legal victory but a potentially life-saving measure.
As the battle for gun rights continues, it’s clear that the Bruen decision has set in motion a gradual, yet significant, transformation in the gun rights landscape, particularly in regions previously known for their stringent gun control laws. The journey towards fully realizing the Second Amendment rights in places like New York City is far from over, but for many, Bruen has already made a profound and personal impact.