(Reuters) – New York lawmakers revamped the state’s gun laws after a landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision established an individual right to carry handguns in public for self-defense.
The court ruled New York’s restrictive gun-license system was unconstitutional, as were similar regimes in California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey and the District of Columbia.
Here are some key provisions in New York’s proposed gun-license law https://www.nysenate.gov/legislation/bills/2021/s51001:
* NO MORE NEED TO PROVE “PROPER CAUSE” TO HAVE A GUN
The Supreme Court said it was unconstitutional to give government officials the discretion to deny a law-abiding person a permit to carry a concealed handgun in self-defense if they could not show “proper cause,” or cite some special reason. The bill removes the “proper cause” requirement, although it still requires an applicant show they are of “good moral character.”
* ‘SENSITIVE PLACES’ WHERE GUNS ARE BANNED
The court said lawmakers could restrict guns from “sensitive places,” giving as examples courthouses, schools and government buildings, but warned lawmakers against applying the label too broadly.
New York’s proposed list of such places includes: government buildings, medical facilities, places of worship, libraries, playgrounds, parks, zoos, schools, summer camps, addiction-support centers, homeless shelters, nursing homes, public transit including the New York City subway, places where alcohol or marijuana is consumed, museums, theaters, stadiums, polling places and New York City’s Times Square.
Private businesses will be presumed to be gun-free zones unless their owners say otherwise.
* SOCIAL MEDIA REVIEW
The bill would require applicants for concealed-carry permits to submit their current and former social media accounts from the last three years to review by the licensing officer, usually a judge or police official, to weigh the applicant’s “character and conduct.”
* INCREASED TRAINING
Applicants must complete at least 16 hours of in-person firearms safety training, and at least two hours of training at a firing range, where they must prove their shooting proficiency according to standards to be developed by state police.
* INCREASED SCRUTINY OF APPLICANTS
Applicants must meet for an in-person interview with the licensing officer and provide the names and contact information of their spouse or domestic partner, any other adults they live with and say whether children are in their home. They must provide four character references.
* REVIVING AMMUNITION SALES DATABASE
The bill revives a dormant effort to create a state database tracking ammunition sales to license-holders buying certain kinds of ammunition.
(Reporting by Jonathan Allen; Editing by Donna Bryson and William Mallard)