Gov. Kathy Hochul signed a bill into law Friday that will set new limitations on who can carry a gun outside of their home following the Supreme Court’s overturning of the state’s current restrictions on concealed carry licenses.
The court ruled last week that New York’s practice of issuing concealed carry licenses on the basis that a person must prove they have a unique self-protection need is unconstitutional. To ensure that some limitations remain in place, the Legislature, which was in recess, was called back to Albany on Thursday to take up new legislation that redefines who can obtain the permits and how, along with where they can carry their weapons.
Hochul signed the legislation, sponsored by state Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, after it passed both the Assembly and state Senate Friday. Here’s an overview of the main points in the legislation, some of which Hochul previewed earlier this week:
Defines sensitive locations: Anyone who carries a gun in the following locations could be charged with criminal possession of a firearm: Any government property, a range of health care facilities, places of worship, libraries, public parks, zoos, preschools, summer camps, educational institutions, mass transit hubs, anywhere where alcohol is consumed, theaters, concert venues, sporting arenas, casinos, polling places, public areas being used for special events, protests and Times Square. The restrictions do not apply to police officers, security guards, active-duty military personnel or other government employees with consent to carry..
Requires an interview with the licensing agency: Anyone who wishes to obtain a concealed carry permit is required to meet in person with a licensing officer for an interview and provide four character references, contact information for someone with whom they currently live, a list of social media accounts and any other information the licensing officer requests. If false statements are made in the application process, licenses are subject to revocation.
Mandates firearms safety training: Concealed carry license holders are required to undergo 16 hours of in-person training, including two hours of live-fire range training, to be determined by the division of criminal justice services and superintendent of state police. The training must include general firearm safety, storage safety and conflict deescalation, suicide prevention and more.
Sets storage requirements: When storing in a vehicle, the license holder is responsible for removing the ammunition from the firearm and locking the gun in an “appropriate safe storage depository out of sight from outside the vehicle.” A glove box does not count.
Elaborates on the definition of “good moral character”: The bill added language to current requirements that a concealed carry license holder must have “good moral character,” stating they must possess “essential character, temperament and judgment necessary to be entrusted with a weapon and to use it only in a manner that does not endanger oneself or others.”
Expands on the list of previous convictions that would prohibit someone from obtaining a license: While convicted felons are federally barred from obtaining a gun license, the new bill went a step further and added a list of other criminal convictions, within five years, that prevent someone from carrying concealed. They include: third degree assault, misdemeanor, driving under the influence and menacing.
Editor's note: This story has been updated to reflect the legislation's passage into law.