New York legislative text detailing new gun rules released

July 1, 2022 Marina Villeneuve, Associated Press
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New York lawmakers are reviewing a bill released Friday to remove a barrier to getting a concealed carry handgun permit in light of a recent Supreme Court ruling, while also placing new restrictions on who can get a permit and limiting where people can carry firearms.

Gov. Kathy Hochul released the text of the legislation early Friday morning, as the Legislature continued a special legislative session the Democratic governor called with the intent of overhauling its century-old law for carrying guns and limiting the proliferation of firearms in public.

The Supreme Court ruling struck down a statute requiring people to demonstrate “proper cause” — an actual need to carry the weapon — to get a license to carry a handgun outside their homes. New York law doesn’t define proper cause, which has meant most applicants had to show they worked in law enforcement or had another special need that went beyond routine public safety concerns.

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New York is poised to now remove that provision, which the ruling found violated ordinary citizens’ right to arm themselves in public for self-defense. There are similar standards in a handful of other states including California, which is also now overhauling its gun laws.

According to the legislation released Friday, New York’s new system would require applicants to undergo 15 hours of in-person training at a firing range, sit down for an in-person interview, provide their social media accounts, provide contact information for household members, renew their license after three years and face monthly background checks. The bill also sets up an appeals process.

Under the new system, the state wouldn’t authorize permits for people with convictions within the past five years for driving while intoxicated, menacing or third-degree assault.

People with concealed carry permits won’t be permitted to carry firearms at a long list of “sensitive places” ranging from Times Square to protests to schools and universities.

That list also includes government buildings, healthcare facilities, places of worship, libraries, public playgrounds and parks, daycares, summer camps, addiction and mental health centers, shelters, public transit, bars, theaters, stadiums, museums, polling places and casinos.

New York will also create a new felony crime for people who carry firearms into places of business where owners haven’t put up signage saying guns are welcome.

In states where carrying guns is more common, businesses that want to keep guns out are usually required to post signs indicating weapons aren’t allowed.

The bill would also fix a recently passed law that barred sales of bullet-resistant vests but didn’t cover the type of armor worn by the Buffalo shooting gunman.

Hochul says the legislation would instead bar sales of body armor, which would have covered the shooter’s steel-plated vest.

Other provisions require background checks for all purchases of ammunition for guns that require a permit, and new rules around firearm storage in homes and vehicles.

Also, the legislation would make it clear that local laws can be tougher than the state law.

Democratic lawmakers, who control supermajorities in both legislative chambers, expect to pass the bill later Friday. The bill would then get sent to Hochul’s desk for her expected signature, and then take effect Sept. 1.

Hochul has said the Supreme Court ruling came at a particularly painful time, with New York mourning the deaths of 10 people in a shooting at a supermarket in Buffalo.

Gun advocate groups are critical of the new proposed restrictions, saying some of them infringe on the rights upheld by the Supreme Court. Such critics say New York is focusing more on law-abiding gun owners than criminals.


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