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New York holds special session to address Supreme Court overturning of concealed carry law

Governor Kathy Hochul delivers remarks following a meeting of the Interstate Task Force on Illegal Guns in East Greenbush.
Mike Groll
Office of Governor Kathy Hochul
Governor Kathy Hochul delivers remarks following a meeting of the Interstate Task Force on Illegal Guns in East Greenbush.

Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature are meeting in a special session to address the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that struck down the state’s 100-year-old law limiting the carrying of concealed weapons. Lawmakers had agreed on the parameters of a new bill on Thursday afternoon but were still nailing down details.

Governor Hochul, speaking a day before the session, said the legislation would make most public spaces off-limits for concealed weapons, including government offices, schools, hospitals, parks, playgrounds and all public gatherings with over 100 people.

“This is not the Wild West,” Hochul said on June 29. “This is New York state.”

Hochul said one of her jobs when she was Erie County clerk was to issue pistol permits and conduct background checks. She said there is a distinction between private gun ownership and the ability to conceal that weapon and take it anywhere.

“It is one thing to have a gun for your family’s protection in your home,” Hochul said. “But all of a sudden, now you’re out in the streets. Now you’re going to bars, now you’re going to the workplace. That is a whole different ball game.”

Private land and businesses would also fall under the new regulations. The default position would be that concealed weapons are not permitted, but a business or property owner would be free to post a sign saying guns are welcome.

The measures would also add to the requirements to obtain a permit to carry a concealed weapon. A more thorough background check would be conducted, and background checks would also be required for purchasing ammunition. There would be a mandatory 15 hours of in-person firearm safety training, and rules on safe storage would be expanded to include homes with anyone under the age of 18.

Hochul said the legislation would also allow localities, like densely populated cities, to impose more restrictions.

“I will not tie the hands of New York City,” Hochul said.

Hochul said the Supreme Court ruling means that the state cannot limit the carrying of concealed weapons everywhere. She said there will be more guns on the street now.

Karen has covered state government and politics for New York State Public Radio, a network of 10 New York and Connecticut stations, since 1990. She is also a regular contributor to the statewide public television program about New York State government, New York Now. She appears on the reporter’s roundtable segment, and interviews newsmakers.