New York Bans Guns in Many Public Places After Supreme Court Ruling
A week after the U.S. Supreme Court made it easier for people to carry handguns in public, the New York State Legislature passed a flurry of gun restrictions on Friday, including a ban on firearms in many public places, including Times Square, and toughening permitting requirements.
To mitigate the impact of the state Supreme Court’s first major ruling on a Second Amendment case in over a decade, the state Senate and Assembly held a special session in which they repealed a concealed-carry restriction that had been ruled unconstitutional.
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A century-old provision in New York that required gun owners who wanted to carry a handgun outside of their homes to prove that they had a unique need for self-protection was overturned by a 6-3 vote on June 23.
After the Supreme Court Decision, New York Bans Guns in Many Public Places
Legislators in the state were pressured to eliminate that requirement, so they made up for it by enacting more stringent restrictions elsewhere, such as making many public places off-limits to people with firearms and imposing additional permit requirements.
Democrat Governor Kathy Hochul signed the bill into law on a Friday evening after it was presented to her.
On September 1st, the law will prohibit firearms in all public places, including subways, buses, schools, shelters, government buildings, polling places, places of worship, healthcare facilities, bars and other places where alcoholic beverages are sold, libraries, daycares, zoos, museums, theatres, playgrounds, and parks.
Times Square, a major tourist hub in Manhattan, is another area that will have a gun ban in place.
Unless the owner posts a sign to the contrary, it will be assumed that firearms are not permitted inside private businesses across the state.
Any person applying for a pistol permit in the state will now be required to reveal all social media accounts they have used in the past three years.
Additionally, they will be required to undergo an in-person interview with a licensing officer, complete at least 16 hours of in-person firearm training, and agree to safely store firearms in any location where minors are present.
I just signed a new law to keep New Yorkers safe – even in the face of a monumental setback from the Supreme Court.
— Governor Kathy Hochul (@GovKathyHochul) July 2, 2022
Ammunition sellers or firearm dealers will be required to keep a record book of every ammunition transaction, and the bill will create statewide record databases for ammunition sales and licenses. It also establishes a board for hearing appeals.
“Just imagine you’re on a crowded subway and you bang into somebody inadvertently. Tempers flare and the person that you bumped into happens to be carrying a concealed weapon,” she said.
“Imagine you’re in Times Square. You’re on the way to a show with your family, and you’re surrounded by people with concealed weapons,” Hochul said. “Does that make you feel more or less safe? I think we all know the answer to those questions.”
State Senator Daniel Stec (R-Queensbury) criticized the rushed nature of the process, and State Senator Pamela Helming (R-Canandaigua) said the bill will punish law-abiding citizens while doing little to deter those who carry firearms illegally.
“Criminals are not going to follow the requirements outlined in this bill,” Helming said, adding that they may instead “target and terrorize” places where firearms are banned.
“The only people who will be impacted by the bill before us are people who follow rules,” Helming said.
The extensive list of proposed sensitive places means that even with a permit to carry, people won’t be able to bring handguns “just about anywhere in New York,” according to State Senator Andrew Lanza (R-Staten Island).
The court’s decision casts doubt on the constitutionality of similar concealed-carry restrictions in several other states, including California, Maryland, Massachusetts, and New Jersey, in addition to New York.
Although the Supreme Court’s decision is only binding in New York, the reasoning behind it is applicable in every state. States like California and Maryland still require applicants to show they have good reason to carry a handgun in public, but that requirement is on its way out.
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