New York wants to ban hidden weapons in many places, including Times Square

NEW YORK, July 1 (Reuters) – New York lawmakers voted Friday to pass new gun laws that ban guns from a long list of “sensitive places,” including Times Square, and require people seeking gun licenses to do more training and submit their social media accounts for government review.

The bill was headed for New York Governor Kathy Hochul, a Democrat, who was expected to sign it into law, which would take effect Sept. 1.

The emergency legislative session began on Thursday, a week after the Supreme Court’s conservative majority repealed New York’s restrictive gun-license laws and ruled for the first time that the U.S. Constitution gives a person the right to carry guns in public for self-defense. read more

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New York Democratic leaders have criticized the ruling, saying there will be more gun violence if more people carry guns. They admitted they now need to relax the state’s age-old licensing system, but tried to maintain as many restrictions as possible in the name of public safety, which could become a target for more legal challenges.

The court ruled that the law lawmakers are changing gave officials too much latitude to refuse a permit.

Hochul, who ordered the extraordinary session in the legislature, said the state’s gun licensing rules had resulted in New York having the fifth-lowest percentage of the 50 US states.

“Our state will continue to protect New Yorkers from harm even despite this Supreme Court setback,” she said at a news conference in Albany as lawmakers debated the bill. “They may think they can change our lives with the stroke of a pen, but we also have pens.”

The court allowed it to be banned from carrying weapons in certain “sensitive places,” but warned lawmakers not to apply the label too broadly. The court also made it easier for pro-gun groups to overturn a gun ordinance, ruling that a gun ordinance was likely unconstitutional if it wasn’t comparable to the kind of regulations in the 18th century, when the Second Amendment to the Constitution was ratified. .

The bill’s list of sensitive places included: government offices, medical facilities, places of worship, libraries, playgrounds, parks, zoos, schools, colleges, summer camps, addiction treatment centers, homeless shelters, nursing homes, public transportation including the New York City subway, places serving alcohol or marijuana. is consumed, museums, theaters, stadiums and other locations, polling stations and Times Square.

Republican lawmakers complained that the bill made the right to bear arms less than other constitutional rights, such as freedom of speech and freedom of religion.

“Now it becomes easier to get a hidden baby carrier” [license]Mike Lawler, a Republican member of the Assembly, said during the debate, “But you can’t take it anywhere.”

‘FLAGANT INFRINGEMENT’

The National Rifle Association, the powerful gun owners group whose New York subsidiary was the successful lead plaintiff in last week’s Supreme Court case, said the bill was a “blatant violation” of the court’s ruling and raised more barriers to the New Yorkers. self-defense rights, indicating that it may soon face legal challenges.

“Gov. Hochul and her anti-Second Amendment allies in Albany have defied the United States Supreme Court with a deliberately malicious rewrite of New York’s hidden carry law,” said Darin Hoens, the state director of the New York NRA. in a statement.

The court ruled in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen that New York officials had too much subjective discretion over which gun license applicants could enjoy what it believed to be a constitutional right. Applicants were denied a concealed-carrying license if they failed to convince an officer that they had a “good reason” or special reason for carrying a gun for self-defense. read more

Reluctantly and not without protest, Hochul agreed that the state should scrap the “good reason” requirements, though the bill still requires licensing officials to find the applicant to be of “good moral character.”

The proposed new licensing rules also require applicants to meet with the licensing officer, usually a judge or police officer, for a personal interview and provide the contact details of some immediate family members and any adults they live with.

The bill also makes it a felony to carry a gun in private business premises unless the company affirmatively posts a notice stating that concealed weapons are welcome.

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Reporting by Jonathan Allen in New York; Editing by Chris Reese and Daniel Wallis

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