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Hochul outlines NY's new concealed carry laws

New York Governor Kathy Hochul holds a gun magazine during a press conference detailing efforts to combat domestic terrorism and gun violence on May 18, 2022.
WAMC screenshot
New York Governor Kathy Hochul holds a gun magazine during a press conference detailing efforts to combat domestic terrorism and gun violence on May 18, 2022.

New York’s new laws governing the carrying of concealed weapons take effect Thursday, after the U.S. Supreme Court threw out the state’s 100-year-old laws governing the practice.

Outlining the new laws Wednesday, Governor Kathy Hochul condemned the June decision by conservative judges on the nation’s highest court, during a time when she says we are experience a “public trauma” over increased gun violence.

“At a time when we’re having a national reckoning on gun safety, what we can do to protect our citizens,” said the Democrat. “That decision wasn’t just negligent. It was reprehensible.”

The decision to strike down the state’s 1911 laws governing concealed carry, came after a challenge was brought by the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association.

Just one week after the court’s ruling, the governor and Democratic-led legislature approved new laws for pistol permits in the state. They take effect Thursday.

Deeper background checks will now be required for pistol permit applicants, and their social media postings will be scrutinized, to determine if they might present a danger to themselves or others. Anyone who receives a new permit after September 1 will have to undergo 15 hours of in person training.

Some places will be off limits for the carrying of weapons including schools, public parks, and anywhere where alcohol is served. The court decision prohibited the state from declaring an entire county or borough gun-free. But Hochul, and New York City Mayor Eric Adams say the popular tourist area Times Square will be a gun-free zone, and signs will be posted, an action that he says feels “surreal.”

Only those in limited professional categories, like security guards will be permitted to have weapons.

Private businesses and property will be considered gun-free zones by default, though the owner is free to post signs saying that they welcome the carrying of concealed weapons on their property.

The state is also launching public service ads to get the word out.

In anticipation of the new law, there’s been an uptick in pistol permit applications at county clerks’ offices upstate. Hochul has some bad news, though, for those hoping that they could avoid complying with the new law by applying for a permit by the end of the day on August 31. She says the old rules will only cover those who already possess a valid gun permit on September 1, not those whose applications are in process.

“That won’t make a difference, because it’s who has the permit on the date, not that you’ve applied,” said Hochul who said the application process could take months, especially if the additional demand creates a backlog.

State police and other law enforcement officials were also at the press conference in New York City Wednesday. They say the law will be enforced, and those who violate it can be charged with a Class-E felony.

The officials say they are not ruling out spot checks for illegal gun possession, similar to random DWI checks. if they are needed in the future.

September also marks the start of another new gun safety law approved by Hochul and lawmakers in early June. No one under 21 will be allowed to purchase a semi-automatic rifle after September 4th.

Karen DeWitt is Capitol Bureau chief for New York State Public Radio, a network of public radio stations in New York state. She has covered state government and politics for the network since 1990.
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