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Thursday, August 11, 2022

New York governor signs bill prohibiting covert carry of firearms

ALBANY, NY ( Associated Press) – New York lawmakers approved sweeping changes to the state’s handgun licensing rules on Friday that sought to maintain some limits on firearms after a Supreme Court ruling that most people should have personal protection. have the right to carry a handgun.

Cathy Hochul, after passing both houses with a wide margin, is almost certain to attract more legal challenges from gun rights advocates, who say the state is still setting too many restrictions on who can get guns. and where they can take them.

Hochul, a Democrat, called on the Democrat-controlled legislature back to Albany to work on legislation reversing the state’s longstanding licensing restrictions following last week’s high court ruling.

Supporters said the law, which takes effect on September 1, strikes the right balance between complying with the Supreme Court’s ruling and keeping weapons out of the hands of those who are likely to use them recklessly or with criminal intent. .

But some Republican lawmakers opposed the tougher restrictions, arguing that the law violated the constitutional right to bear arms. He predicted that this too would overturn.

Among other things, the state’s new rules will require people applying for handgun licenses to turn over a list of their social media accounts so that officials can verify their “character and conduct.”

Applicants must demonstrate that they have “the necessary character, disposition and judgment required to be assigned a weapon and to use it only in a manner not to endanger themselves and others.”

As part of that assessment, applicants must turn over a list of social media accounts created within the past three years.

“Sometimes, they are telegraphing their intention to harm others,” Democrat Gov. Kathy Hochul told a news conference.

Gun rights advocates and Republican leaders were outraged, saying the law violated not only the Second Amendment, but privacy and free speech rights.

State Republican Chair Nick Langworthy said, “New Yorkers’ constitutional liberties had just been crushed.”

The bill approved by lawmakers does not specify whether applicants would be required to grant licensing authorities access to private social media accounts that are not visible to the general public.

People applying for a license to carry a handgun must also provide four character references, undergo 16 hours of firearms safety training and two hours of practice at a range, undergo periodic background checks, and complete their Spouse, domestic partner or contact information must be turned on. Any other adult living in their household.

Hochul’s lead attorney, Elizabeth Fine, stressed that the state is setting “a very clear set of eligibility criteria” and noted that the law includes an appeals process.

The measure signed into law on Friday also fixes a recently passed law that prohibited the sale of certain types of bullet-resistant vests to the general public. The previous law inadvertently left out several types of body armor, including the type worn by a gunman who killed 10 black people in a racist attack on a Buffalo supermarket.

Last week’s Supreme Court decision struck down a 109-year-old state law that required people to demonstrate an unusual threat to their safety to qualify for a license to carry a handgun outside of their homes. was. This restriction generally limited licenses to those who worked in law enforcement or had another special need that went beyond regular public safety concerns.

Under the new system, the state will not authorize permits for people with a criminal conviction for driving while intoxicated, dangerous or third-degree assault within the past five years.

People will not be allowed to carry firearms in a long list of “sensitive places” including Times Square full of tourists in New York City.

That list also includes schools, universities, government buildings, places where people hold public protests, health care facilities, places of worship, libraries, public playgrounds and parks, day care centers, summer camps, addiction and mental health centers, gathered for shelters. Public transportation, bars, theaters, stadiums, museums, polling places and casinos.

New York will also prohibit people from bringing guns into any business or workplace unless the owner says guns are welcome. People who bring guns to places without such signs can be prosecuted for felony charges.

This is a contrasting approach from many other states where businesses that want to keep guns out are usually required to post signs indicating that weapons are not allowed.

Gun advocates said the law violates rights created by the Supreme Court.

“We will now let the pizzeria owner decide whether I can express my constitutional right,” said Staten Island Republican Senator Andrew Lanza. “It’s a disgrace. See you in the courts.”

Associated Press/report writer Masoon Khan for America contributed to this report. Mason Khan is a core member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a non-profit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on issues covered. follow mesoon khan Twitter,

World Nation News Desk
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