The Supreme Court of the United States recently struck down the state-imposed restrictions on carrying guns in a 6-3 vote, with Republican justices in the majority. New York's ban on having concealed firearms outside of the home is no longer applicable, and the same applies to Maryland's and other five states' ban on military-style assault rifles. This law was enacted in 2012 after the mass shooting of 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. The full text of the Supreme Court's ruling can be found here.
However, New York is fighting back by introducing a new gun ban.
The Old Law
What was the law that the Supreme Court found unfair? It's the long-standing law called "The Sullivan Act," passed back in 1911, prohibiting carrying concealed weapons outside of their homes in public.
Now that the Sullivan Act no longer applies, the state of New York had to find a way to keep some restrictions intact.
The Solution: the New Ban
New York's solution was to introduce a new ban, making it illegal to carry guns in certain public places. Here's a list of what those places are:
- "Sensitive places" such as New York City's Times Square and other landmarks.
- Schools, universities, government buildings, public protest venues, healthcare facilities, places of worship, libraries, playgrounds, parks, bars, theatres, stadiums, museums, polling places and casinos.
- Workplaces, unless allowed by the employer.
- Businesses, unless the business owner has a sign allowing guns inside.
In other words, the law prohibits you from entering the business if you leave your house with a gun and want to visit the local bakery unless that bakery has a "Guns allowed" sign.
The new law goes into effect on September 1, 2022.
New Requirements for Gun Licenses
A public place ban isn't the only thing new to New York. The state has proposed a new law that specifies new requirements for gun license applications. These include the following:
- Four character references.
- 16 hours of firearms safety training.
- Two hours of practice at a range.
- Periodic background checks.
- Providing the contact information of everyone residing in the same household, including their spouse or domestic partner.
- Turning over information about their social media accounts' history for the last three years. It doesn't specify that the passwords are required; it only mentions the account information.
The Republican Party isn't happy about the new requirements, stating it's "a violation of the of Second Amendment rights."
There you have it. The Supreme Court squashed New York's gun restrictions, and the state imposed new ones. It's like a dance! Unfortunately, it's unclear how this dance would end.
Until the new public-space law is in effect, the residents of New York have two months of "gun freedom" in their state.