ALBANY, NY (AP) – New York lawmakers plan to vote Thursday on legislation to limit the proliferation of firearms in public after the Supreme Court repealed the state’s century-old gun licensing law.
The state is overhauling its gun-carrying rules after a court ruled that ordinary citizens had the right to arm themselves in public for self-defense, something the state has historically limited to those working in law enforcement or security.
New rules rushed through an emergency legislature session would allow many more gun owners to apply for a license to carry a concealed weapon, but would impose new restrictions on where firearms can be transported.
A provision, proposed by Governor Kathy Hochul on Wednesday, would ban people from carrying firearms in businesses unless owners put up signs saying guns are welcome.
According to David Pucino, deputy chief counsel for the Giffords Law Center, New York would be the first state to approve such a rule. In states where gun-carrying is more common, companies that want to keep guns out of the door are usually required to post no-arms signs.
New York would also impose new requirements for obtaining a firearms license, including mandating 15 hours of personal fire training. The legislature is also ready to enact new rules around the storage of firearms in homes and vehicles.
Gun proponents are critical of the new proposed restrictions, saying some of them infringe rights upheld by the Supreme Court.
Hochul and fellow Democrats also plan to compile a list of “sensitive places” where the average person should not carry firearms, including hospitals, schools and public transportation.
Other provisions require background checks for all purchases of ammunition for licensed weapons, and prohibit people with a history of dangerous behavior from obtaining gun licenses.
Maysoon Khan is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a national, not-for-profit service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercover issues. Follow Maysoon Khan on Twitter†
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