SYRACUSE, N.Y. — New York is poised to pass new legislation restricting who can carry guns in public and where in response to the Supreme Court’s ruling expanding second amendment rights last week.
In a 6-3 ruling, the court struck down a previous state law that required people to show “proper cause” to obtain a concealed carry permit, limiting the number of private citizens eligible to carry in public.
Friday – over 24 hours after the state senate was first meant to convene in a special session called by Governor Kathy Hochul – senators passed new legislation entirely on party lines.
The omnibus bill outlines the application process to obtain a concealed carry permit, which will now be overseen by state police.
It requires an in-person interview as well as multiple personal references, as well as social media accounts, to determine “the essential character, temperament, and judgment necessary to be entrusted with a weapon.”
Anyone convicted of a DUI or various kinds of assault charges in the past five years will automatically be banned from obtaining the permit.
The bill also lists multiple “sensitive zones” where permit holders will not be allowed to carry a gun. These include schools, mass transit areas and vehicles, places of worship, places of lawful protest, and others.
Concealed carry will also not be permitted in private businesses unless the business owner indicates otherwise.
During the state session Friday, Republicans argued this bill is an attack on constitutional rights, critical of Governor Hochul for calling a special session without legislative text prepared.
Legislators on both sides of the aisle told CNY Central they didn’t get a chance to read what they were voting on before arriving in Albany Thursday morning, with the bill first made available to the public at 3 a.m. Friday.
“If you read the whole second amendment it, talks about ‘in order for a well-regulated militia’, and if we’re all parts of the militia, the regulated parts have to come in somewhere,” said Assemblyman Al Stirpe.
Stirpe, a Democrat representing parts of Syracuse, said the process was rushed, but he ultimately supports the contents of the bill, arguing there need to be limits on concealed carry permits.
“I think the vast majority of people wouldn’t have a problem with this bill at all. it’s going to be the loud minority that is going to be offended by it, go to court because of it, act like we’ve stolen all their freedom and rights and everything else, but you know that’s really, I think they should have expected something like this,” said Stirpe.
The Supreme Court’s ruling primarily took issue with the previous “proper cause” requirement, and still allows states to place restrictions on concealed carry permits and where guns can be lawfully carried.
“In general, it does follow the language of the court,” said Peter Pullano, a managing partner with the Tully Rinckey Law Firm.
Pullano said he would be shocked if the new law does not get challenged in courts, but at face value, believes it will stand up to constitutional criticism.