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New York governor promises quick response to U.S. Supreme Court's concealed carry ruling

Kathy Hochul
May 25, 2022- East Greenbush, NY- Governor Kathy Hochul delivers remarks at meeting of The Interstate Task Force on Illegal Guns and hold a press briefing at New York State Intelligence Center (Darren McGee/ Office of Governor Kathy Hochul)

WSKG - The U.S. Supreme Court has struck down New York’s restrictions on carrying a concealed weapon in public spaces. Governor Kathy Hochul calls the decision “reckless and reprehensible” and vows to hold a special session soon.

The case, brought by the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association, took issue with New York’s laws. On the books since the early 1900’s, they made it a crime to possess a firearm without a license.  They also required anyone who wanted to carry a concealed firearm outside the home to obtain an additional permit. They could only receive one if they could prove that “proper cause exists” for them to carry the weapon.

The opinion, written by Justice Clarence Thomas, finds that the law violates the U.S. constitution, and prevents law-abiding citizens with ordinary self-defense needs from exercising their Second and Fourteenth Amendment rights to keep and bear arms in public for self-defense.

Governor Kathy Hochul, speaking moments after the ruling, called it deeply disturbing, and says it puts the safety of “millions of New Yorkers” at risk.

Hochul condemned the “insanity of gun culture” that has now reached even the Supreme Court. She says the timing is especially difficult, when people in Buffalo are grieving over a mass shooting in May that killed 10 people at a supermarket in a Black American neighborhood.

She says her staff attorneys are working with leaders of the legislature to craft a remedy to the decision, and will announce details soon.

Hochul says she will call the legislature back into session in the coming weeks to address the issue.

“We are not powerless,” Hochul said.

The decision came as Hochul held a bill signing ceremony, known as Alyssa’s Law. It requires school districts to install panic alarms so officials, and students can immediately alert police if there’s a life threatening incident. It is named for Alyssa Alhadeff, a 14-year-old who was killed in a mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida in 2018.

And it comes just a few weeks after Hochul and the legislature approved a number of gun safety laws, including a ban on anyone under 21 from buying a semi-automatic rifle, and strengthening the state’s Red Flag laws.

Law enforcement are now required to ask a judge for an order to seize the guns of anyone they think might be a threat to themselves or others.

Hochul and lawmakers also made illegal the purchase of body armor, except for law enforcement and people in professions that could be in danger. Other new laws require gun manufacturers to allow for the micro stamping of bullets, to better trace weapons used in commission of crimes.