Pol Position: Conceal Carry Explained

Governor Hochul signed legislation on Friday, attempting to carve out restrictions on the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn New York State’s conceal carry laws.

“A week ago, the Supreme Court issued a reckless decision removing century-old limitations on who is allowed to carry concealed weapons in our state—senselessly sending us backward and putting the safety of our residents in jeopardy,” Governor Hochul said in a statement. “Today, we are taking swift and bold action to protect New Yorkers. After a close review of the NYSRPA vs. Bruen decision and extensive discussions with constitutional and policy experts, advocates, and legislative partners, I am proud to sign this landmark legislative package that will strengthen our gun laws and bolster restrictions on concealed carry weapons.”

On June 23, the Supreme Court reversed New York’s over century-old legislation that required Empire State residents to demonstrate a special need–such as past death threats–to defend themselves. Justice Clarence Thomas’ majority opinion argued that the legislature may have some leeway to ban guns in “sensitive areas” but defining entires cities, or Manhattan writ-large, is unconstitutional.

“Put simply, there is no historical basis for New York to effectively declare the island of Manhattan a ‘sensitive place’ simply because it is crowded and protected generally by the New York City Police Department,” Justice Thomas wrote in the court’s majority opinion.

New York’s new legislation attempts to establish a list of sensitive places, within the judicial leeway provided by Thomas–but only time will tell whether it stands. The concealed carry law improvement act would ban concealed carry across many different areas: public transport, parks, preschools, houses of worship, protests, Times Square, and more.

The legislation also makes “no-carry” the default in private businesses, meaning that it is illegal to conceal carry a weapon in a private business unless they have signage directly notifying patrons that firearms are allowed.

Beyond the obvious runaround of the Supreme Court ruling, the legislation would set storage requirements, social media reviews to determine whether someone is of “good moral character,” and mandating training.

Other disqualifying criteria include misdemeanor convictions for weapons possession and menacing, recent treatment for drug-related reasons, and for alcohol-related misdemeanor convictions.

Another section of the bill expands upon bullet-resistant armor bans, by now being able to ban the equipment used by the racist gunman who unloaded on a Buffalo grocery store, that the legislation failed to adequately address the first time around.

Gun rights groups are almost certainly going to oppose the legislation based on specific rules or the entirety of the legislation.

The law will take effect on September 1, 2022. In addition, an appeals board will be created for those applicants whose license or renewal is denied or revoked, which will take effect on April 1, 2023.

Another shooting

Dear Editor,
The latest mass shooting outside a Florida banquet hall killed two people and injured another 20. When will Congress come to a viable agreement to stem the continued gun violence across the country?
Much stricter gun laws must be passed and enforced at the local, state and federal levels.
Law enforcement and police departments across the country are doing their very best to stop these shootings, but until there is more support from government, there is only so much the police and other law enforcement agencies are able to do.
No civilian needs to possess military-grade weapons. Gun shops around the country need to tighten the requirements for someone purchasing a weapon. Mentally ill people should never be allowed to purchase a weapon.
Our country is being turned into a shooting gallery.
John Amato
Fresh Meadows

City bracing for a summer of violence

If Memorial Day weekend is any indication, it looks like it’s going to be a bloody summer in the city.
On Monday night alone, a teenager was killed and eight others were injured in incidents across the five boroughs. That’s on top of several other acts of violence over the weekend.
Police sources were quoted in published reports saying crime would have been a lot worse over the weekend if the weather hadn’t been so awful.
In other words, as the calendar turns to summer we can expect the violence to get much worse.
This is on top of the spike in hate crimes, primarily directed at the Asian community. On Monday, another woman was randomly punched in front of a restaurant in Manhattan’s Chinatown.
The city is trying to address the growing violence, from flooding troubled neighborhoods with extra police to employing community groups to try to stop the shooting before it starts, but it doesn’t seem to be working.
The de Blasio administration and the NYPD will have to get creative if New Yorkers are going to feel safe walking the streets this summer.
But residents need to do their part, too, when they can. If you see something suspicious or witness an act of violence, make sure you come forward and help our officers get the dangerous elements off our streets.

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