ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York lawmakers plan to vote Thursday on legislation seeking to limit the proliferation of firearms in public after the Supreme Court gutted the state’s century-old handgun licensing law.
The state is overhauling its rules for carrying guns after the court decided that ordinary citizens had a right to arm themselves in public for self-defense, something the state limited in the past mostly to people working in law enforcement or security.
New rules being rushed through an emergency session of the Legislature would allow many more gun owners to apply for a license to carry a concealed weapon, but would seek to set new restrictions on where firearms can be carried.
One provision, proposed by Gov. Kathy Hochul on Wednesday, would ban people from carrying firearms into places of business unless owners put up signage saying guns are welcome.
New York would be the first state to pass such a rule, according to David Pucino, deputy chief counsel at Giffords Law Center. In states where carrying guns is more common, businesses that want to keep guns out are usually required to post signs indicating weapons aren’t allowed.
New York would also set new requirements for obtaining a handgun permit, including mandating 15 hours of in-person fire range training. The Legislature is also primed to enact new rules around firearm storage in homes and vehicles.
Gun advocate groups are critical of the new proposed restrictions, saying some of them infringe on the rights upheld by the Supreme Court.
Hochul and fellow Democrats also plan on compiling a list of “sensitive places” where the average person will be banned from carrying firearms, including hospitals, schools and public transportation.
Other provisions require background checks for all purchases of ammunition for guns that require a permit, and bar people with a history of dangerous behavior from getting handgun permits.
Maysoon Khan is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on under-covered issues. Follow Maysoon Khan on Twitter.