New York passes new limits on concealed firearms permits after U.S. Supreme Court ruling – National

The New York Legislature on Friday approved a sweeping overhaul of the state’s handgun licensing rules, seeking to preserve some limits on firearms after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that most people are allowed to carry a handgun for personal protection.

The bill, which Governor Kathy Hochul said she intends to sign into law, will almost certainly draw more legal challenges from gun rights advocates who say the state still imposes too many taxes. restrictions on who can get a gun and where they can carry it.

Supporters said the new law strikes the right balance between respecting the Supreme Court’s ruling and keeping guns out of the hands of people who might use them recklessly or with criminal intent.

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Among other things, the state’s new rules will require people who apply for a handgun license to submit a list of their social media accounts so officials can verify their « character and conduct. »

Under the law, applicants would have to demonstrate they have « the essential character, temperament and judgment necessary to be entrusted with a weapon and to use it only in a way that does not endanger them or themselves. » nor the others ».

As part of this good character assessment, applicants must submit a list of all social media accounts they have had over the past three years « to confirm information regarding the applicant’s character and conduct ».

« Sometimes they telegraph their intent to harm others, » Governor Kathy Hochul, a Democrat, said at a news conference.

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Gun rights advocates and Republican leaders were furious, saying the measure infringed on constitutional rights.

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« What’s being proposed in New York is a violation of Second Amendment rights, but they’re also asking you to waive your privacy rights for social media accounts, waiving your First Amendment rights, » he said. Mark Liva of the National Shooting Sports Foundation. director general of public affairs. Republican State Chairman Nick Langworthy said « the constitutional liberties of New Yorkers have been trampled upon. »

The bill did not specify whether applicants would be required to provide licensing agents with access to private social media accounts not visible to the general public.

Individuals applying for a license to carry a handgun would also be required to provide four character references, complete 16 hours of firearms safety training plus two hours of remote practice, undergo periodic background checks and submit contact information. of their spouse, domestic partner. or any other adult living in their household.

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Aaron Dorr, executive director of the New York State Firearms Association, called the measure « the kind of bill the Gestapo would be proud of » or « you’d see in communist China. »

“It will never survive a legal challenge,” he said.

Hochul’s chief attorney, Elizabeth Fine, insisted the state establishes « a very clear set of eligibility criteria » and noted that the legislation includes an appeals process for applicants who may think that a reviewer has acted inappropriately.

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The state Senate approved the measure on Friday during a special legislative session convened to address state gun laws. The Assembly was due to consider the measure later in the day.

The Supreme Court ruling overturned an earlier rule requiring people to demonstrate an unusual threat to their safety in order to obtain a permit to carry a handgun outside their home. This restriction generally limited licenses to people who had worked in law enforcement or had some other special need that went beyond common public safety concerns.

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Under the new system, the state would not allow licenses for people with criminal convictions within the past five years of drunk driving, threatening or third-degree assault.

People would also not be allowed to carry guns in a long list of « sensitive places », including New York’s heavily touristy Times Square.

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This list also includes schools, universities, government buildings, places where people have gathered for public demonstrations, health care facilities, places of worship, libraries, playgrounds and public parks. , daycares, summer camps, addiction and mental health centers, shelters, public transit, bars, theaters, stadiums, museums, polling places and casinos.

New York would also ban people from bringing guns into any business or workplace unless the owners put up signs that say guns are welcome. People who bring firearms to places without such signs could be prosecuted for a crime.

This is a reverse approach to that of many other states where businesses that wish to prohibit access to firearms are generally required to post signs stating that guns are not permitted.

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Gun advocates have said the bill violates rights upheld by the Supreme Court.

« Now we’re going to let the owner of the pizzeria decide whether or not I can exercise my constitutional right, » said Sen. Andrew Lanza, a Republican from Staten Island. » It’s a shame. See you in the courts. You all know that’s unconstitutional. You all know it’s just a trick. Another attempt to tell the people of New York State, « We don’t trust you. »

The bill would also correct a recently passed law that prohibited the sale of certain types of body armor to the general public, but inadvertently omitted many types of body armor, including the type worn by a gunman who killed 10 blacks in a racist attack on a Buffalo supermarket.

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If passed, the bill would go to Hochul’s office for its expected signature, then go into effect on September 1.

© 2022 The Canadian Press


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