Questions and Answers on the Supreme Court’s New York Gun Decision: What You Need to Know

A U.S. Supreme Court decision to strike down a New York gun law has raised questions about who will be able to carry guns in public and where those guns can be transported in the state. .

Here’s a series of questions and answers about what will change, what will stay the same, and what issues New York lawmakers will need to address as a result of the decision.

What was the decision of the Supreme Court?

The court considered a New York law dating back to 1913 that requires residents to obtain a concealed carry permit if they want to carry a handgun outside the home.

Plaintiffs had to show that they had an increased need to carry a firearm in public for self-defence.

Conservative Supreme Court justices ruled in a 6-3 opinion that the requirement gives the state too much discretion in deciding who should receive a license.

Who does the decision affect?

Most New Yorkers who legally own a handgun have a restricted pistol license, which means they can only own a firearm in their home.

The decision will make it easier for these licensees and future applicants to obtain an unlimited license to carry in public.

A third category of pistol licenses allows people to carry and possess a handgun in public for their employment, such as a security guard or law enforcement officer. These licensees are not affected.

If I already have a restricted pistol/revolver licence, can I now carry in public?

No. You will still have to apply for the unlimited permit, also called a concealed carry permit, according to New York law enforcement officials.

What are some of the requirements for an unlimited/restricted license?

You must be a New York resident, at least 21 years old, have no prior felonies or serious convictions, and be of “good character”. The state asks you to submit the names of four people who can serve as references.

You will also need to submit a photo taken within the last 30 days, provide your fingerprints, and have a legally recognized reason for wanting to own or carry a firearm.

Are there still additional requirements for a public transport license?

Yes. To obtain an unlimited public transport permit, you may be questioned by a police officer or sheriff’s deputy, or be required to take a training course at a shooting range. These rules vary by county or local jurisdiction.

How will the court’s decision change the permit application process?

For now, there is no change. If you wish to transport in public, applications should be submitted to your designated local licensing authority in the county where you live.

How long will it take to get a license to carry in public?

Prior to Thursday’s court ruling, the average processing time was six months, according to state officials. Cost and wait time vary by county.

Does the ruling change anything about long guns in New York??

No. The Supreme Court specifically addressed the issue of carrying handguns in public.

If I already have a public carry permit, can I bring my handgun anywhere??

No. Places that prohibit guns on their property may continue to do so. You cannot bring a firearm into most government buildings or schools. Private owners, such as movie theaters or shopping malls, can continue to ban all firearms.

Syracuse University and other private institutions may continue to prohibit guns on their property. In the case of SU, this includes the JMA wireless dome.

Has the Supreme Court said anything about where license holders can’t carry guns?

Yes. The court said states can still restrict the carrying of firearms in “sensitive places” such as schools or government buildings, where firearms have long been banned. It will be up to the States to define these places.

But the court cautioned against the idea of ​​broader gun bans. The court said “there is no historical basis for New York actually declaring Manhattan Island a ‘sensitive location’ simply because it is crowded…”

What does this mean for other places where lots of people gather?

It’s not clear. Justice Stephen Breyer noted in his dissent that the Supreme Court’s decision leaves that question open.

“What about subways, nightclubs, cinemas and sports stadiums?” Breyer wrote. “The Court does not say so.”

How long will it take to sort things out?

It could take months. The Supreme Court normally gives localities time to adjust to decisions that result in major changes.

What happens next?

Gov. Kathy Hochul said she would call state lawmakers back to Albany on June 30 for a special session. She wants lawmakers to come up with new gun safety laws in line with the Supreme Court ruling.

How will state lawmakers react?

According to Robert Spitzer, a SUNY Cortland professor and author of five books on gun policy, state lawmakers will likely focus on determining how and where to ban access to public places. to firearms.

One option is to ban firearms in all public places where large numbers of people typically gather.

The state could also enact a broad ban on guns on private property, with exceptions only for those licensed to operate a particular property.

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