Nicholas Johnson quoted in a Daily Beast article about President Barack Obama’s executive actions on gun control and how NICS has operated largely as a blunt-force instrument influenced by decades of criminal justice policies that are statistically proven to single out minorities for heightened scrutiny.
Nicholas Johnson, a Fordham law professor and Second Amendment scholar, acknowledged the potential for precisely this kind of racial inequity in the application of federal background checks.
“These are very old categories and they didn’t get the same level of scrutiny decades ago. So you have all these categories, and if you look at the means-end question, it’s not clear are these things going to meet a standard of ‘least restrictive,’” he said.
But Johnson, who authored the 2014 book Negroes and the Gun: The Black Tradition of Arms, says the issue is probably not high on the list of priorities for most Americans.
“If you ask people on the street, I’m not sure if this is what they want to fight in term of a rights claim,” he said, adding that more acute racial bias is evident in the permitting process in so-called “may issue” states like California and New York, where blacks face higher burdens than whites for concealed carry licenses.
Read the entire Daily Beast article.