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Long Island officials review pistol permit laws in response to Supreme Court decision

Dealing a blow to gun supporters, a federal appeals court ruled Thursday that Americans do not have a constitutional right to carry concealed weapons in public.
Al Behrman
After the Supreme Court struck down New York's conceal permit laws, local officials are scrambling to see how it changes their policies.

Long Island elected officials are scrambling to respond to Thursday's Supreme Court decision that struck down New York’s restrictions on concealed firearms.

Both Suffolk and Nassau counties require people who want to carry a concealed weapon to get a permit from the police department, or the sheriff’s office on eastern Long Island. Officials in both counties are poring over the 135-page Supreme Court decision to see how it changes their current policies.

District Attorneys Anne Donnelly in Nassau and Ray Tierney in Suffolk said they are still reviewing the decision, as did Suffolk County Sheriff Errol Toulon.

Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman made a public appearance to comment on the ruling.

“I believe people should have the right to bear arms," he said. "However, I also believe that reasonable restrictions are important, and that we have to be careful that guns don’t get in the hands of the wrong people. I want to see what the restrictions are, what the guidelines are, and then we’ll act accordingly.”

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone’s office did not respond to requests for comment.

In a statement, Congressman Lee Zeldin, who is running for governor, reiterated his support for the state’s Rifle and Pistol Association, which brought the case to the Supreme Court. He then attacked New York Governor Kathy Hocul, who took the opposite position and called the decision reprehensible.

Charles is senior reporter focusing on special projects. He has won numerous awards including an IRE award, three SPJ Public Service Awards, and a National Murrow. He was also a finalist for the Livingston Award for Young Journalists and Third Coast Director’s Choice Award.