Amid the bright lights and electronic billboards of New York’s Times Square, city officials have erected signs proclaiming the bustling intersection a “gun-free zone”.
Manhattan’s sprawling tourist attraction is one of many ‘sensitive’ places – including parks, churches and theaters – that will be banned from guns under a new state law that will take effect Thursday.
The measure, passed after a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in June expanded gun rights, also sets strict standards for issuing licenses to carry concealed weapons.
New York is one of half a dozen states whose key provisions of gun laws have been struck down by the Supreme Court because of the requirement for plaintiffs to prove they have a “good cause”. valid” to obtain a permit.
Gov. Kathy Hochul said Friday that she and her fellow Democrats in the state legislature took action the following week because the shutdown “destroyed a governor’s ability to protect his citizens from abuse.” people who carry concealed weapons wherever they want”.
However, the law has sparked confusion and legal challenges from gun owners who say it unduly limits their constitutional rights.
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“These measures seem less about combating gun violence and more about preventing people from getting guns, even if they are law-abiding, law-abiding citizens who the Supreme Court has ruled have a right to firearms. own it,” said Jonathan Corbett, a Brooklyn attorney and firearms license applicant, who is one of many to challenge the law in court.
A federal judge let the new rules pass Wednesday night, hours before they took effect.
Although he wrote that the case for granting a preliminary injunction to stop the rules was compelling, Judge Glenn Suddaby said the plaintiffs — an upstate New York resident and three gun rights organizations – lacked standing to sue.
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Mr Suddaby said he made the decision in part because the man, a legal gun owner, could not demonstrate that he faced a credible threat of legal action under the new guidelines, between other factors.
In a tweet, New York Attorney General Letitia James called the judgment a major victory “against baseless attacks by the gun lobby.”
In an emailed statement, Erich Pratt, senior vice president of Gun Owners of America, one of the groups that filed the lawsuit, said Suddaby’s opinion “contains a ray of hope for New -Yorkers and the Nation,” and said his group will continue to fight “against clear violations of the Second Amendment.”
By law, applicants for a concealed carry permit will be required to complete 16 hours of classroom training and two hours of live-fire drills.
Ordinary citizens will not be allowed to carry guns in schools, churches, subways, theaters and amusement parks, among other places deemed “sensitive” by authorities.
Applicants will also be required to provide a list of social media accounts from the past three years as part of a “character and conduct” review.
This requirement was added because shooters have sometimes hinted at online violence before opening fire on people.
Sheriffs in some upstate counties said the extra work for their investigators could add to existing delays in processing applications.
In Rochester, Monroe County Sheriff Todd Baxter said it currently takes two to four hours to complete a background check for a gun license on a “clean” applicant.
He estimates that the new law will add one to three additional hours for each permit. The county has about 600 gun licenses pending.
“It’s going to slow everything down a bit more,” he said.
In the Mohawk Valley, Fulton County Sheriff Richard C. Giardino questioned how the digital searches were going to go.
“It says three years of your social media. We’re not going to print three years of everyone’s social media posts. If you look at my Facebook, I send six or ten things a day,” said the sheriff, a former district attorney and judge.
The list of no-go spaces for carrying weapons has drawn criticism from human rights advocates, who believe it is so long that it will make it difficult for people with permits to walk around in public.
Persons carrying a weapon will only be able to enter private businesses with a permit, such as a sign posted on the window.
Giardino has already started handing out signs to local businesses stating that people can carry legal firearms on premises.
Jennifer Elson, owner of Let’s Twist Again Diner in Amsterdam, said she put up the sheriff’s sign, along with one of hers that read “by our governor, we must post this nonsense.” If you are a law-abiding citizen who has obtained a legal gun license, you are welcome here.”
But in Times Square – visited by around 50 million tourists a year – and many less crowded places, carrying a gun will be illegal from Thursday.
New York City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams said Tuesday she was pleased to see authorities taking action to “protect New Yorkers and visitors who frequent Times Square.”
The Supreme Court ruling also led to a flurry of legislation in California aimed at toughening gun ownership rules, including a new law that could hold gun sellers and manufacturers accountable. from any harm caused by anyone they “reasonably believe is at significant risk” of using a firearm illegally.
Earlier this month, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed into law a measure requiring gun license applicants to submit to a personal interview with a licensing authority.
New Jersey has required people to complete training before receiving a permit, and will require new residents to register any guns they bring in from out of state.
Hawaii, which has the lowest number of gun deaths in the country, is still weighing its options. Since the Supreme Court’s ruling, the state has granted only one new gun permit.
Although New York does not maintain statewide data on gun license applications, reports point to long lines at county clerks’ offices and other evidence of an increase in requests before the law’s entry into force.
In the Mohawk Valley, Pine Tree Rifle Club President Paul Catucci said interest in safety courses taught by club volunteers “exploded” at the end of the summer.
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New York will restrict the carrying of firearms as new state law takes effect. – The Inquirer 🇫🇷
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