The state will roll out a bevy of new gun safety measures this week, including a law that bans firearms in “sensitive locations” like Times Square, officials said Wednesday.
At a news conference Wednesday morning, Gov. Kathy Hochul said most of the rules included in the package would take effect on Thursday.
What You Need To Know
- A bevy of new gun safety measures will take effect in New York state this week, including a law that bans firearms in "sensitive locations" like Times Square
- New York lawmakers approved the package of legislation in July, following a June Supreme Court decision that struck down a state law making it harder to obtain a concealed carry permit
- Among the rules rolling out Thursday are a law requiring concealed carry permit applicants to take a firearm safety training course and a law bolstering the state’s background check system
- A law raising the purchase age for a semi-automatic rifle to 21, meanwhile, will take effect on Sept. 4
The Supreme Court decision came a little over a month after a gunman opened fire inside a Buffalo supermarket, killing 10 people and injuring three others, Hochul noted.
“What is so shocking, just weeks after that traumatic event, the Supreme Court decided, at a time when people were still mourning, they decided to strip away the rights of a governor to protect her citizens from gun violence,” she said. “That decision wasn’t just negligent. It was reprehensible.”
One of the measures set to take effect Thursday bars concealed carry permit holders from bringing guns into “sensitive” sites, including libraries, public playgrounds and parks, subway stations, bars and restaurants that serve alcohol, airports and houses of worship.
Times Square is included on that list. An emergency rule the NYPD adopted last week designated the boundaries of the Times Square “gun-free zone,” and the City Council is set to formalize those boundaries next month.
The Adams administration released a map of the zone, which includes swaths of Midtown Manhattan that are not typically considered “Times Square.”
New York City plans to post signage at the Crossroads of the World warning passersby that the area is a “gun-free zone,” Mayor Eric Adams said at Wednesday’s news conference.
The city will also launch an outreach campaign calling attention to the new rules, Adams said.
“I know the reality of having 475,000 people in Times Square, in any given time, and any given time, that decision stated to them that they can carry a firearm,” he said of the 6-3 ruling. “And to those with this insidious belief that you could have public safety with quick draw, who can draw their firearm the fastest, that is just not a reality.”
Among the other rules rolling out Thursday are a law requiring concealed carry permit applicants to take a firearm safety training course and a law bolstering the state’s background check system, Hochul said.
Keeping New Yorkers safe is my top priority.— Governor Kathy Hochul (@GovKathyHochul) August 31, 2022
Starting tomorrow, concealed weapons will no longer be permitted on subways, in bars, and the following sensitive locations. pic.twitter.com/RKExUOBlrT
New York will also require gun owners with pistol or revolver licenses issued by New York City, Westchester, Nassau or Suffolk counties to renew them every three years, according to a new “Frequently Asked Questions” section on the state’s gun safety website.
License holders with permits issued outside of those counties will have to recertify “every three years for a concealed carry license and every five years for other types of licenses,” the website says.
A law raising the purchase age for a semi-automatic rifle to 21, meanwhile, will take effect on Sept. 4, Hochul said.
“We passed that in the aftermath of the Buffalo massacre. Because none of us think that a teenager should be able to purchase an AR-15,” Hochul said. “Actually, most of us think that no one should be able to purchase an AR-15, but we are constrained by federal laws.”
The Supreme Court decision, the governor said, “[took] us backwards, possibly opening the door to more tragedies.”
“But we’re not deterred. We didn’t back down. We stood up and fought back,” she said. “And as governor, my number one responsibility is keeping New Yorkers safe.”