WASHINGTON D.C. -- The Supreme Court on Thursday struck down a New York gun law that had been on the books for a century, and opened up the possibility that states would be even more restricted in the measures they can take to regulate guns.
In response to the ruling, Senate Democrats expressed serious concerns about what the ruling will mean for the future of firearms safety.
"I still need to take a look at it. But, from what I've seen so far it's concerning," Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-GA) told Raw Story.
Many lawmakers are concerned about the Court effectively removing states' rights to regulate their own gun laws. The Supreme Court is expected to also say this week that states have the right to regulate women's reproductive rights, however.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) called it an "activist Supreme Court" when she spoke to Raw Story after the ruling was handed down.
"They believe in states' rights when they want to regulate women's reproductive freedom but they don't believe in states' rights on issues of public safety and common-sense gun laws," she said. "To me, them not understanding the moment we're in — we're a country that is trying to do something on a bipartisan basis to have commonsense gun reform, to ensure public safety for our children and our communities. To come up with this decision, shows number one, how out of touch they are and number two, how activist and political they are."
Gillibrand went on to accuse the seated court of "destroying the non-partisan nature" of the court's purpose. "They are clearly partisan. They're clearly extremist and they are clearly activist."
Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) agreed, telling Raw Story that eliminating states' rights is a problem because in Massachusetts, they have some of the most restrictive gun rights. However, they also have the lowest gun fatality rates. The Supreme Court is "watering down" the regulations that states are putting in place in a desperate attempt to stop mass shootings that have become more prevalent.
"It unleashes violence across America by letting more guns in public places and undermining state protections against gun violence," Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) told Raw Story. "It, in no way, undermines the bipartisan gun measure we should pass today."
He went on to call it "deeply destructive" and anticipates that "it will unleash violence in American communities. It's a step backward when gun violence is soaring and it is an activist court legislating from the bench."
The Senate is debating the gun bill on the floor and is set to vote on Thursday afternoon.
With additional reporting from Matt Laslo.
Justice Breyer issues scathing dissent as Supreme Court kills New York gun ruling www.youtube.com