On Friday, New York State passed legislation prohibiting the carrying of firearms in many public places, including Times Square, and requiring gun-license applicants to demonstrate their shooting ability and submit their social media accounts for review by government officials.
The emergency legislative session was forced by a landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision last week that overturned New York’s restrictive gun-license laws. For the first time, the court’s conservative majority ruled that the right to carry weapons in public for self-defense is guaranteed by the United States Constitution.
New York’s Democratic leaders have slammed the ruling and the court, claiming that more people carrying guns will lead to more gun violence.
They admitted they needed to relax the state’s century-old permit system to comply with the ruling, but they wanted to keep as many restrictions as possible in the name of public safety. Some will almost certainly face additional legal challenges.
The court ruled that New York’s previous licence regime, which dates back to 1911, gave officials far too much leeway in denying a permit.
New York Governor Kathy Hochul, a Democrat who called the special session, said the state’s gun-licensing regulations had resulted in New York having the fifth-lowest rate of gun deaths among the 50 states.
‘Despite this setback from the Supreme Court, our state will continue to keep New Yorkers safe,’ she said at a news conference in Albany, the state capital, while lawmakers were debating the bill. ‘They may believe they can change our lives with a stroke of a pen, but we, too, have pens.’