New York Dems set to defy SCOTUS with new concealed carry laws

Craig Ruttle/Pool via AP, File

New York legislators are expected to ram through new restrictions on the right to carry in Albany today, where Gov. Kathy Hochul has called them back for an “extraordinary session” to respond to last week’s Supreme Court ruling striking down the state’s “may issue” carry permitting regime. We don’t even have the text of the proposed legislation, yet multiple media outlets are reporting that Hochul could sign the legislation today. Lawmakers aren’t going to have time to read the bill or bills being proposed, much less digest what their real world impact will be, but that’s clearly less of a concern for them than doing anything and everything they can to continue to put roadblocks between New Yorkers and their Second Amendment rights.

While we don’t know all of the specifics of the legislation, the details that have emerged in interviews with Hochul are enough to foresee another court challenge on the horizon.

Businesses that want guns around would have to put up a sign reading, “Concealed weapons welcome here,” or words to that effect, Hochul said. “Otherwise the presumption will be in the state of New York that they are not.”

“We’re going to protect the rights of private property owners allow them to not have to be subjected to someone walking into their workplace or a bar, restaurant with a concealed weapon,” Hochul said.

The state is setting new requirements for getting a handgun permit, Hochul said, including mandating 15 hours of in-person fire range training. The legislature will also enact new rules around firearm storage in homes and vehicles, she said.

Hochul and fellow Democrats also plan on creating a comprehensive list of “sensitive places” where the average citizen will be banned entirely from carrying firearms, including government buildings, hospitals, schools and public transit.

The governor says the new anti-2A measures “go right up to the line” drawn by the Supreme Court, but that’s not the case at all. Hochul and the Democrats who vote for this legislative nightmare are blatantly disregarding what the Bruen opinion had to say about “sensitive places” as well as imposing onerous requirements beyond mandating that concealed carry applicants demonstrate a “justifiable need” to carry.

… expanding the category of “sensitive places” simply to all places of public congregation that are not isolated from law enforcement defines the category of “sensitive places” far too broadly. Respondents’ argument would in effect exempt cities from the Second Amendment and would eviscerate the general right to publicly carry arms for self-defense

As Justice Clarence Thomas made clear, while there may be a few exceptional circumstances where the lawful carrying of firearms can be banned, those are the exceptions and not the rule. Hochul’s plan would not only make every business in the state a de-facto gun-free zone, but most public spaces, according to the governor, would be off-limits to those with valid concealed carry licenses.

Federal, state, local government buildings, health and medical facilities, places where children gather, day cares, parks, zoos, playgrounds, public transportation, subways, buses, polling places, educational institutions,” Hochul said.

The governor was asked if her proposal goes beyond what the Supreme Court will allow.

“It sounds like you’re shutting off all of the public places,” a reporter said.

“I can’t shut off all places,” Hochul said.

“So what would be left?” the reporter asked.

“Probably some streets,” Hochul said.

The intention is clear: to artificially suppress the number of individuals exercising their right to publicly carry arms for self-defense in defiance of the Supreme Court and the Constitution. That goes not only for Hochul’s attempt to turn most of the state into a gun-free zone, but also the new onerous and burdensome training requirements she wants to impose on those looking to exercise their right to carry. Fifteen hours of live-fire training is going to make it nearly impossible for many New Yorkers to obtain a license, simply because they won’t be able to afford the cost of ammunition. Range availability is also going to be a huge issue, and as Thomas specifically noted in his opinion, efforts to depress the number of individuals exercising their right to carry through “lengthy wait times in processing license applications or exorbitant fees deny ordinary citizens their right to public carry” can also be subject to constitutional challenges if they are put to “abusive ends.”

We’re going to be talking with Tom King, executive director of the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association later today on Bearing Arms’ Cam & Co about Hochul’s proposals and the litigation that is sure to follow. The New York governor may think she can ignore what the Court had to say about our Second Amendment rights, but if these ideas are enshrined into law another SCOTUS smackdown is almost certainly on the way.