For decades, New York’s leaders boasted that its strict limits on handgun ownership made it one of America’s safest places, a claim backed by statistics showing the state — and its biggest city — consistently have among the nation’s lowest firearm death rates.
Now, in the aftermath of a Supreme Court decision striking down key portions of the state’s gun-licensing law, lawmakers will try to preserve as many restrictions as they can on who can carry a pistol and where they can bring it.
Gov. Kathy Hochul, a Democrat, vowed Thursday to call the Democrat-led Legislature back for a special session to pass new rules, including a law specifying “sensitive locations” where people cannot carry concealed weapons, like school zones, bars or hospitals.
Other options could include adding new conditions to get a handgun permit, like requiring weapons training.
“Our new laws are going to be looking at restrictions on sensitive locations, changing the permitting process,” Hochul said after the court’s ruling. “We’re going to have training requirements. We’re going to make sure that people who have concealed weapons have specified training. We have a whole lot of ideas.”
New York City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams planned to schedule a vote asking state lawmakers to ban people from carrying handguns in any place containing more than 10,000 people per square mile, or anywhere within 1,000 feet of mass transit systems, hospitals, parks, government buildings, schools, churches, cemeteries, banks, theaters bars, libraries, homeless shelters and courts — effectively the whole metropolis.
New York City Mayor Eric Adams, a former police officer and gun owner, said prohibiting guns in densely populated areas will save lives.
“We will work together to mitigate the risks this decision will create once it is implemented, as we cannot allow New York to become the Wild West,” Adams said.
New York state’s law, in place since 1913, said that to carry a handgun outside the home, a person applying for a license has to demonstrate “proper cause,” an actual need to carry the weapon.
A similar standard is in place in only a handful of other states, including California, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Maryland and Hawaii.
The law did not define what proper cause meant, and it gave local officials — often a police department — discretion on whether to issue a license. In practice, that meant most applicants had to show a need that went beyond routine public safety concerns, like being in a profession that put them at special risk.
In New York City, few people beyond retired law enforcement officers and armed guards could get a license to carry a handgun.
The legal challenge was brought by two New York men denied permits to carry handguns outside their homes, after failing to prove to authorities that they had a compelling reason to do so.
In its ruling Thursday written by Justice Clarence Thomas, a majority of Supreme Court judges said the New York rules prevented “law-abiding citizens with ordinary self-defense needs from exercising their right to keep and bear arms in public.”
In a concurring opinion, Justice Brett Kavanaugh …read more
Source:: Headlines News4jax
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