Governor Kathy Hochul has signed landmark legislation to strengthen New York’s gun laws and tighten restrictions on the concealed carry of weapons. This set of new laws — drafted in close consultation with the Legislative Assembly — is designed to align with the Supreme Court’s recent decision in NYSRPA v. Brun. As a result of this ruling, the state has taken steps to deal with the consequences of the Supreme Court ruling and the resulting increase in licenses and the number of people who can buy and carry guns in the state. New York State.
“A week ago, the Supreme Court issued an irresponsible decision removing age-old restrictions on who can carry concealed weapons in our state – setting us back senselessly and putting the safety of our residents at risk,” a said Governor Hochul. “Today, we are taking swift and bold action to protect New Yorkers. After extensive review of the NYSRPA decision against Bruen and extensive discussions with constitutional and policy experts, advocates and legislative partners, I am proud to sign this historic legislative package that will strengthen our gun laws and tighten restrictions on the concealed carry of weapons. I would like to thank Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins, Speaker Heastie and all of our partners at the Legislative Assembly for their willingness to tackle this critical issue with urgency and precision.I will continue to do everything in my power to address the epidemic of gun violence.
“Keeping the people of New York State safe is our highest priority and I am proud to stand with the Governor and the Legislature in enacting the measures put in place today,” said Lt. Governor Antonio Delgado. “With this action, New York has sent a message to the rest of the country that we will not sit idly by and let the Supreme Court strike down years of reasonable gun regulation.”
Research has shown that violent crime involving guns increases by 29% when people are allowed to carry handguns, in part due to a 35% increase in gun thefts and ‘a 13% reduction in the rate of resolution of cases by the police. Today’s legislative package reinforces the compelling state interest in preventing firearm deaths and injuries by:
- Expand eligibility criteria under the concealed carry authorization process, including firearms training courses completed for applicants.
- Allow the state to regulate and standardize training for license applicants.
- Restrict the carrying of concealed weapons in sensitive areas and establish that private landlords must expressly permit a person to possess a firearm, rifle or shotgun on their property. Persons who carry concealed weapons in sensitive locations or in contravention of the authority of a private property owner are subject to criminal penalties.
- Establish state oversight of background checks for firearms and regular checks of licensees for criminal convictions.
- Created a statewide license and ammunition database.
- Strengthen and clarify the law relating to the sale of body armor to include hard body armor, such as the type worn by the suspect in the Buffalo shooting, and the safe storage of firearms.
The law will come into effect on September 1, 2022. In addition, an appeal board will be created for applicants whose license or renewal is refused or revoked, which will come into effect on April 1, 2023.
Last week, the Supreme Court’s 6-3 decision ended a 100-year-old legal precedent requiring individuals to show “good cause” to obtain a concealed firearm license. The current law gave the state and its licensing officers discretion to determine what constitutes “just cause,” which the court ruled was unconstitutional. Governor Hochul worked closely with the Legislature to craft the following legislation (S.51001/A.41001), which carefully and strictly regulates concealed carry weapons while remaining within the confines of the NYSRPA v. Bruen decision.
Sensitive places and private property
Some places are still dangerous for firearms, and this legislation makes concealed carry in sensitive locations a punishable crime. Sensitive locations include:
- Bars and restaurants that serve alcohol
- Day care centres, playgrounds and other places where children gather
- Educational institutions
- Emergency shelters, including domestic violence shelters and homeless shelters
- entertainment venues
- Federal, state and local government buildings
- Sanitary and medical facilities
- places of worship
- Polling stations
- Demonstrations and public gatherings
- Public transport, including subways and buses
- Times Square
The law also makes “no carry” the default for private property, unless deemed permitted by the owners. This gives businesses and owners the power to decide whether or not they want firearms in their establishments, which could include bars, restaurants, shops or grocery stores. Owners who decide to allow concealed carry will need to disclose this with signage indicating that concealed carry is permitted on the premises. This allows people to make an informed decision about whether or not they want to be in a space where people could potentially carry a weapon.
Expanded Eligibility Requirements and Disqualification Criteria
The legislation expands eligibility requirements for concealed carry permit applicants. Extensive application requirements include character references, firearms safety training courses, live-fire testing, and background checks. Additionally, applicants who have documented instances of violent behavior will be disqualified from obtaining a concealed carry permit. Exclusion criteria also include misdemeanor convictions for possession of weapons and threats, recent treatment for drug-related reasons, and misdemeanor alcohol convictions.
Current legislation also implements new safe storage requirements for rifles, shotguns and firearms. Gun owners will be prohibited from leaving a gun in their car unless it is stored in a safe. Additionally, state law previously required firearms to be securely stored in a home if someone under the age of 16 resides there, but new legislation will require safe possession of firearms. in a house if a person under the age of 18 resides there.
Ammunition background check
The legislation allows the state to perform and monitor firearms background checks and perform regular checks on licensees for criminal convictions. State background checks will go beyond those performed by the National Instant Criminal Background Check system run by the FBI, which does not have access to crucial state-owned records and databases and local authorities that provide a more accurate assessment of an applicant’s background. Research has found that states that do their own background checks, instead of just using the federal database, experience 27% lower firearm suicide rates and firearm homicide rates 22% lower. The legislation also requires background checks for ammunition sales and creates a statewide license and ammunition database.
Bulletproof Vest Modification
Under current law, a “body vest” has a limited definition as soft body armor. This legislation will redefine body armor to encompass a wider range of bullet-resistant protective gear, expanding current purchase and sale bans to include hard body armor. During the Buffalo tragedy, the shooter wore a steel-plated vest that would be captured under this new definition of body armor.