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New Gun Control Legislation: New York State (Senate Bill S51001)

New York isn't what any of us would call a gun-friendly state. They have some of the strictest firearm laws in the country. Last month, Second Amendment advocates in the state of New York had a major win as the Supreme Court struck down a century-old New York gun safety law that required people to show "proper cause" to get a license to carry a concealed handgun outside the home.

However, this win was short-lived as the legislation was called back, and on the 1st of July, Governor Kathy Hochul signed new legislation that imposed even stricter laws in the State. These laws are aimed to make the acquisition of concealed carry permits more difficult and restrict the rights of citizens to carry their firearms in sensitive areas and private properties. Taking effect on the 1st of September, these laws are a huge blow to the second amendment rights of the citizens of New York.

Here is a detailed explanation of the major amendments made to this legislation.

Increased eligibility requirements for Firearms licenses and Concealed Carry Permits:

This new legislation has increased the requirements for concealed carry permits. Now, any citizen applying for a CCW permit will have to show “proper cause”, provide character references, take a firearms safety training course, participate in live fire testing, and go through background checks. This legislation also limits the number of people who can legally get a New York pistol permit. Of course, people who are convicted of violent crimes are disqualified, However, this legislation also prevents people with misdemeanor convictions related to Alcohol abuse and firearms possession from getting a Concealed carry permit. People who have recently been treated for drug-related reasons won't be eligible to get a permit either.

Restrictions on Concealed Carry in sensitive locations and private properties:

One of the strictest, and in the opinion of most Second Amendment advocates, most unconstitutional parts of this legislation are the default restriction on concealed carry weapons on private properties unless these weapons are explicitly allowed. Where people should have the right to restrict weapons on their private properties, making it a default restriction is against the second amendment rights owed to a citizen.

This new legislation also prevents the possession of concealed carry weapons in sensitive locations, here are the places defined as sensitive locations in this Legislation

  • Airports and public transport, including Subways and Busses

  • Places where Alcohol is served, like bars and restaurants

  • Government buildings including courthouses, libraries, poling sights, and public rallies and demonstrations

  • Educational institutes, and any places where children may gather, like Playgrounds, and Daycare facilities

  • Hospitals and other medical care facilities and clinics

  • Emergency and homeless shelters

  • Entertainment venues like sports arenas, theme parks, and concerts.

  • Places of worship

  • Times square.

New laws for safe gun storage:

According to this new legislation, citizens aren't allowed to leave their guns in their cars unless there are in a locked box. Moreover, gun owners need to keep their firearms stored safely if anyone under the age of 18 resides in their home. Previously this age limit was 16.

More background checks, even for buying Ammunition:

This legislation states that apart from the National Instant Criminal Background Check System maintained by the FBI, citizens will also need to comply with a state background check to buy a firearm. This legislation also requires gun owners to go through background checks when they buy ammunition, and it allows the state to maintain a statewide license and ammunition database.

More restrictions on body armor:

In recent state legislation, created in response to the Buffalo shooting, the possession of Bulletproof Body Vests was prohibited, however, the wording of that law did not specifically put restrictions on hard body armor plates. This legislation also amends that law to include hard body armor plates.

Final Thoughts:

So, here was an overview of the restrictions imposed on Concealed Carry, firearm ownership, and Body armor possession in the state of New York. Where Second Amendment advocates continue to protest these restrictions, gun control activists are celebrating this major win. However, it doesn't seem that these laws will do much to decrease crime, the only thing they will do is prevent law-abiding citizens from carrying firearms to protect themselves, their families, and their communities. Criminals will still be able to get their firearms, ammunition, and even body armor in illegal underground markets, and law-abiding citizens will be left with inferior means of self-defense.

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