New York Governor Signs Bill to Ban Guns on Times Square, Public Transportation

Governor Kathy Hochul announced Friday night that she has signed legislation — just passed by lawmakers — drafted in response to the Supreme Court’s recent ruling on hidden carry laws.

The legislation includes making hidden transportation in “sensitive locations” illegal. Sensitive locations include airports and public transportation, entertainment venues, bars and restaurants, places of worship and Times Square.

“We are taking swift and bold action to protect New Yorkers. After a thorough review of the NYSRPA vs. Bruen decision and extensive discussions with constitutional and policy experts, lawyers and legislative partners, I am proud to sign this groundbreaking legislative package that will strengthen our gun laws and strengthen restrictions on concealed weapons.” the governor said in a statement.

“I would like to thank Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins, Chairman Heastie and all our partners in the legislature for their willingness to address this critical issue with urgency and precision. I will continue to do everything in my power to fight the epidemic of gun violence.”

The new bill will come into effect on September 1, 2022.

The bill was signed by Hochul after the New York State Senate passed legislation Friday that would ban the concealed carrying of weapons in a “sensitive location,” including Times Square and all public transportation. The legislation was introduced in a special session earlier in the day.

New York Governor Kathy Hochul speaks to reporters about legislation passed during a special legislative session, in the Red Room at the State Capitol, July 1, 2022, in Albany, NY

Hans Pennink/AP

The bill comes after a Supreme Court ruling overturned a state law that limited who could get concealed transportation permits for people who had “the right reason.”

“While this Supreme Court conservative majority ruling invalidates the covert-carrying license restrictions, the decision allows states to issue licensing requirements for carrying a firearm. In light of this decision, the Senate majority is taking action to address the invalidated provisions and the potential public safety implications of this ruling,” the Democratic Majority of the New York Senate said in a statement.

Sensitive places where weapons cannot be carried include the subway, trains, buses and ferries, as well as government offices, places of worship, schools, libraries, public playgrounds, public parks, zoos, homeless shelters and polling stations, according to the legislation.

The Assembly Room is pictured sitting at ease during a special legislative session as lawmakers consider new firearms rules for concealed carry permits at the State Capitol, June 30, 2022, in Albany, NY

Hans Pennink/AP

Governor Hochul announced Wednesday the intention of lawmakers to enact legislation for “sensitive places.” The legislation was introduced in the state Senate at a special session convened by Hochul that began Thursday.

The bill also aims to prohibit the carrying of guns on all private property by default unless the owner of the property has signs permitting guns or has otherwise authorized the use of guns.

The law makes exceptions for law enforcement officers, peacekeepers, active duty military and security personnel, who would be allowed to carry weapons in sensitive areas. Those engaged in legal hunting are also allowed to carry weapons in sensitive locations.

The law would make carrying weapons in the prohibited areas a crime.

A police-created and maintained state-wide database of licenses and records will be checked monthly to determine if an individual is no longer a valid license holder. The data must be verified against criminal convictions, criminal charges, mental health, extreme risk protection orders and protection orders.

The new legislation changes an existing law that establishes an ammunition database to verify the sale of ammunition in New York.

Guns and ammunition sellers and dealers will also be required to keep a record of all of their weapons and ammunition transactions.

The bill also adds a vehicle requirement to existing safe storage laws requiring gun owners to store their weapons in a suitable secure storage area out of sight of the vehicle and remove ammunition from the weapon. Otherwise, gun owners would not be allowed to leave their firearms out of direct possession or in a car.

Hochul said when the legislation was introduced on Wednesday that the measure is intended to reduce gun thefts from cars.

Currently, New York law requires gun owners to be given secure storage for their guns and keep them locked up if they have children 16 or younger at home. The new legislation raises that age requirement to 18 years.

Matt J. Foster of ABC News contributed to this report.

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