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Mayor Scott Calls Supreme Court Gun Decision 'Asinine' After Highland Park Mass Shooting

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- Baltimore's Fourth of July celebration was safe and peaceful, but terror struck two other Independence Day celebrations across America.

In Philadelphia, hundreds of people fled after a shooting during the fireworks display. Two police officers were injured.

In Highland Park, Illinois, a suburb north of Chicago, seven people died and dozens more were injured after authorities said a 21-year-old man spent weeks planning an attack. 

Police said he fired 70 rounds from a high-powered rifle he purchased legally.

Michael Greenberger, the founder and director of the University of Maryland Center for Health and Homeland Security, placed blame squarely on the Supreme Court's recent decision making it easier to carry loaded weapons in public. 

"What the court has told the American public is you have a right to have this weapon. You have a right to carry it on the street, but you have very few rights to protect yourself in these situations," Greenberger told WJZ Investigator Mike Hellgren. "There's very little government can do to keep dangerous weapons out of the hands of people who are not mentally capable of carrying them."

Governor Larry Hogan on Tuesday ordered Maryland State Police to stop requiring people seeking permits to carry a concealed weapon to provide a "good or substantial reason" to do so. 

Mayor Brandon Scott said Tuesday police have seized 1,200 guns from Baltimore's streets so far this year. He also criticized the Supreme Court decision. 

"I think that ruling is very asinine when you see what's been happening," Mayor Scott said. "When you saw what happened over this country over this holiday weekend, to think that we need more people walking around with concealed weapons when people can't even walk to a 4th of July parade or go to a supermarket or be at a party or just be walking down the street, if anyone thinks we need more concealed weapons in this country needs to go get their brain checked."

Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison and Scott said in a joint statement they are "extremely disappointed by the Governor's eagerness to remove restrictions on wear & carry permits."

"Gun violence is on the rise across the country and making it easier for people struggling with mental illness, addiction, and alcoholism to carry guns on our streets cannot be the solution," they said in the statement. "We are focused on addressing the gun violence plaguing our communities, but this decision makes it harder for us to do our jobs."

Harrison and Scott vowed to work with the Maryland General Assembly to reestablish tougher gun laws in the state.

In Highland Park, the uncle of the suspected shooter told CBS Chicago he saw no warning signs.

"There was no indication at all," Paul Crimo said. "There was no indication that I've seen at all that would lead up to this."

With a nation on edge, the mayor in Highland Park said action must be taken to stop the violence. 

"When you have a city coming together to celebrate freedom and independence, you shouldn't have to come fearing for your life," Mayor Nancy Rotering said. "That's not what this nation is about and we need to do something about it." 

Rotering was once the shooting suspect's Cub Scout leader.  "I'm not sure what happened to him to compel him to commit this kind of evil in his hometown, but we have a city that is in deep mourning today and we are going to take a long time to heal from all of this."

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