July 2, 2022
ALBANY, NY – Governor Kathy Hochul has signed new gun laws in New York State.
Legislation (S.51001/A.41001) Restricts the Carrying of Concealed Weapons in List of Sensitive Locations
Institutes a Default of No Concealed Carry on Private Property and Businesses Unless Deemed Permissible by Property Owners
Establishes New Eligibility Requirements and Expands Disqualifying Criteria for Those Seeking Concealed Carry Permits
Enhances Safe Storage Requirements, Extends Requirements to Vehicles
Requires Backgrounds Checks for All Ammunition Purchases
Amends Body Armor Purchase Ban to Include Hard Body Armor Used by suspect in Buffalo Shooting
The governor did this to fight back against the Supreme Court’s recent decision in NYSRPA v. Bruen. “A week ago, the Supreme Court issued a reckless decision removing century-old limitations on who is allowed to carry concealed weapons in our state — senselessly sending us backward and putting the safety of our residents in jeopardy,” Governor Hochul said. “Today, we are taking swift and bold action to protect New Yorkers.”
The governor made this claim: “Research has shown that violent crime involving firearms increases by 29 percent when people are given the right to carry handguns, caused in part by a 35 percent increase in gun theft and a 13 percent decrease in the rate that police solved cases.”
Here’s what the new laws call for:
- Expanding on eligibility requirements in the concealed carry permitting process, including completed firearm training courses for applicants.
- Allowing the state to regulate and standardize training for license applicants.
- Restricting the carrying of concealed weapons in sensitive locations and establishing that private property owners must expressly allow a person to possess a firearm, rifle, or shotgun on their property. Individuals who carry concealed weapons in sensitive locations or in contravention of the authority of an owner of private property will face criminal penalties.
- Establishing state oversight over background checks for firearms and regular checks on license holders for criminal convictions.
- Creating a statewide license and ammunition database.
- Strengthening and clarifying the law relating to the sale of body armor to include hard body armor, such as the type worn by the suspect in the Buffalo shooting and the safe storage of firearms.
The law will take effect on September 1, 2022. In addition, an appeals board will be created for those applicants whose license or renewal is denied or revoked, which will take effect on April 1, 2023.
The governor says that certain locations are always unsafe for guns, and this legislation makes concealed carry in sensitive locations a punishable crime. “Sensitive” locations include:
- Bars and restaurants that serve alcohol
- Daycare facilities, playgrounds and other locations where children gather
- Educational Institutions
- Emergency shelters, including domestic violence shelters and homeless shelters
- Entertainment venues
- Federal, state, and local government buildings
- Health and medical facilities
- Houses of worship
- Polling sites
- Public demonstrations and rallies
- Public transportation including subways and buses
- Times Square
The law also makes ‘no carry’ the default for private property, unless deemed permissible by property owners. This gives power to business and property owners to decide whether or not they want guns in their establishments, which could include bars, restaurants, shops or grocery stores. Property owners who do decide to allow concealed carry will have to disclose with signage saying concealed carry is allowed on the premises. This allows people to make an informed decision on whether or not they want to be in a space where people could potentially be carrying a weapon.
Expanded Eligibility Requirements and Disqualifying Criteria
The legislation expands eligibility requirements for concealed carry permit applicants. Expanded application requirements include character references, firearm safety training courses, live fire testing, and background checks. Additionally, applicants who have documented instances of violent behavior will be disqualified from obtaining a concealed carry permit. Disqualifying criteria also includes misdemeanor convictions for weapons possession and menacing, recent treatment for drug-related reasons, and for alcohol-related misdemeanor convictions.
Today’s legislation also implements new safe storage requirements for rifles, shotguns, and firearms. Gun owners will be prohibited from leaving a gun in their car unless it is stored in a lockbox. Additionally, state law previously required that guns be stored safely in a home if someone under 16 resides there, but new legislation will require safe gun ownership in a home if someone under 18 resides there.
Ammunition Background Checks
The legislation allows the state to conduct and have oversight over background checks for firearms and run regular checks on license holders for criminal convictions. State background checks will go beyond those conducted by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System maintained by the FBI, which lack access to crucial state-owned and local-owned records and databases that provide a more accurate assessment of an applicant’s background. Research has found that states that perform their own background checks, instead of solely using the federal database, experience 27 percent lower firearm suicide rates and 22 percent lower firearm homicide rates. The legislation also requires background checks for ammunition sales and creates a statewide license and ammunition database.
Body Armor Amendment
Under current law, a “body vest” has a limited defined as a bullet-resistant soft body armor. This legislation will redefine body vests to encompass a broader array of protective equipment that is bullet resistant, expanding current purchase and sale prohibitions to include hard body armor. During the Buffalo tragedy, the shooter was wearing a steel-plated vest which would be captured under this new body armor definition.
From Congressman Lee Zeldin:
“Just hours before Americans celebrate our independence this holiday weekend, Democrats controlling Albany are enthusiastically stomping all over the Constitutional rights of law-abiding New Yorkers. Instead of focusing on addressing the root causes of rising crime in New York, Kathy Hochul is obsessed on politically expedient lip service. Hochul was an A-rated, NRA endorsed Member of Congress who is now trying desperately to pull off her best Jane Fonda impression.
“Only under one party Democrat rule can criminals run amuck armed with illegal guns, while law abiding New Yorkers are stripped of their right to safely and securely carry a firearm solely for self-defense. Kathy Hochul claims she doesn’t need any facts or data to support any of her actions today. Just a few months back, she refused to support an overhaul of cashless bail, ridiculously claiming a lack of data as her excuse for her inaction. She is a hypocritical, walking identity crisis.