The state of New York enacted a bill that prohibits firearms in many public areas, including Times Square, and calls for gun license applicants to demonstrate their shooting prowess and submit their social media profiles for inspection by law enforcement.
The landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision last week that overturned New York’s onerous gun-license rules compelled the legislature to hold an emergency session and adopt the bill. For the first time, the court’s conservative majority held that carrying a weapon in public for self-defense is protected by the U.S. Constitution.
Democratic leaders in New York have denounced the decision and the court, arguing that if more individuals carry firearms, there would be an increase in gun violence.
They acknowledged that in order to comply with the verdict, the state’s century-old permit system must be relaxed, but they made an effort to maintain as many limits as they could in the interest of public safety. Some will probably be the focus of more legal disputes.
The court determined that the previous license system in New York, which goes back to 1911, provided authorities too much latitude in deciding whether to grant a permission.
Democratic New York Governor Kathy Hochul, who called for the extraordinary session of the legislature, said that thanks to the state’s strict gun licensing laws, New York had the fifth-lowest rate of firearm fatalities among the 50 states in the country.
During a press conference in Albany, the state’s capital, where lawmakers were debating the measure, she stated, “Our state will continue to protect New Yorkers safe from harm, even after this setback from the Supreme Court.” They may believe that they can alter our life with the click of a pen, but we also have pens.
In its decision, the court acknowledged that carrying a handgun may be prohibited in some “sensitive settings,” but it also cautioned lawmakers against using the term too broadly.
Additionally, the court made it simpler for pro-gun organizations to get a restriction overturned. When the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution was established in the 18th century, allowing states to retain militias and outlining a right to “keep and bear Arms,” it was decided that any laws governing guns were likely to be illegal.
The law passed on Friday makes it a felony crime to carry a gun into a new list of sensitive locations, including: public transportation, including the New York City subway, places where alcohol or marijuana is consumed, polling places, medical facilities, places of worship, libraries, playgrounds, parks, zoos, schools, colleges, summer camps, addiction-support centers, homeless shelters, nursing homes, and Times Sq.
The prohibitions on sensitive places do not apply to law enforcement officers or certified security guards.
Republican politicians objected to the bill’s passage, arguing that it places the right to bear arms behind other fundamental freedoms like freedom of speech and religion. The measure is slated to go into effect on September 1.
During the discussion, Republican Assemblyman Mike Lawler remarked, “Now, it’s going to be simpler to acquire a concealed-carry” license. You won’t be able to carry it anyplace, though.