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Hochul outlines new concealed carry laws for New York, following Supreme Court ruling

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Kevin P. Coughlin
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Office of Governor Kathy Hochul

New York’s new laws governing the carrying of concealed weapons take effect Thursday, after the U.S. Supreme Court threw out the state’s century old laws. Governor Kathy Hochul outlined the new rules.

Governor Hochul condemned the June decision by conservative judges on the nation’s highest court, during a time when she said we are experiencing a “public trauma” over increased gun violence.

“At a time when we’re having a national reckoning on gun safety, what we can do to protect our citizens?” said Hochul. “That decision was not just negligent. It was reprehensible.”

The decision to strike down the state’s 1911 laws governing concealed carry, came after a challenge was brought by the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association.

Just one week after the court’s ruling, the governor and legislature approved new laws for pistol permits in the state. They take effect Thursday.

Deeper background checks will now be required for pistol permit applicants and their social media postings will be scrutinized, to determine if they might present a danger to themselves or others. Anyone who receives a new permit after September 1 will have to undergo 15 hours of in-person training.

Some places will be off limits for the carrying of weapons including schools, public parks and anywhere where alcohol is served. The court decision prohibited the state from declaring an entire county or borough gun-free.

But Hochul and New York City Mayor Eric Adams said the popular tourist area Times Square will be a gun-free zone, and signs will be posted, an action that he said feels “surreal.”

Only those in limited professional categories, like security guards will be permitted to have weapons.

Private businesses and property will be considered gun-free zones by default, though the owner is free to post signs saying that they welcome the carrying of concealed weapons on their property.

The state is also launching public service ads to get the word out.

In anticipation of the new law, there’s been an uptick in pistol permit applications at county clerks’ offices upstate. Hochul has some bad news, though. For those hoping that they could avoid complying with the new law by applying for a permit by the end of the day on August 31.

She said the old rules will only cover those who already possess a valid gun permit on September 1, not those whose applications are in process.

“That won’t make a difference, because it’s who has the permit on the date, not that you’ve applied,” said Hochul who added the application process could take months, especially if the additional demand creates a back log.

State police and other law enforcement officials were also at the event. They said the law will be enforced and those who violate it can be charged with a Class-E felony.

The officials said they are not ruling out spot checks for illegal gun possession, similar to random DWI checks if they are needed in the future.

September also marks the start of another new gun safety law approved by Hochul and lawmakers in early June. No one under 21 will be allowed to purchase a semi-automatic rifle after September 4.

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.