Caitlin Sinclair — OAN Political Correspondent, New York
UPDATED 9:20 AM PT – Thursday, September 1, 2022
Starting Thursday, gun owners in New York will not be allowed to carry their firearms into a wide swath of facilities designated by Governor Kathy Hochul as “sensitive” locations. These New York City areas include public parks, bars, restaurants, mass transit and even Times Square.
The law, approved by lawmakers and signed by Gov. Kathy Hochul in July, came in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s June decision tossing New York’s previous century-old policy, which only allowed a concealed carry permit if the gun owner could prove they had “proper cause” for one — such as a specific reason they needed to carry a firearm for self-defense.
Times Square quickly emerged as a hot button of the debate.
If all of Times Square is “a sensitive area,” what exactly is Times Square? Defining the borders became a difficult task from a legal perspective in the gun control fight, and the topic that headlined a New York City Council meeting earlier this week
The proposed legislation dictates the boundaries of Times Square as Eighth Avenue, West 40th Street, Sixth Avenue and West 53rd Street, as well as the area by Ninth Avenue, West 40th Street, Eighth Avenue and West 48th Street.
It will likely be put up for a vote next month, according to a council spokesperson..
Governor Kathy Hochul and Adams addressed public safety concerns on Wednesday, saying new provisions of the law will require concealed carry license applicants to meet revised requirements and complete a state-regulated firearms training course.
Those new requirements will now require disclosure of social media accounts for new gun applicants.
So, if all goes as planned, the new restrictions will impact nearly every gun owner and anyone with an interest in guns in the Empire State.
Apart from Times Square, the list of “sensitive areas” includes:
Schools, universities, government buildings, places where people have gathered for public protests, health care facilities, places of worship, libraries, public playgrounds and parks, daycare centers, summer camps, addiction and mental health centers, shelters, public transit, bars, theaters, stadiums, museums, polling places and casinos.
Ahead of the new law, the NYPD revealed there has been a surge in gun applications.
The department said it has received an additional 1,100 handgun applications since the Supreme Court ruling.
Meanwhile, Second Amendment groups have filed several lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of the new laws and the legislation is expected to be challenged in court.
Council members said that in the future, there could be additional designated sensitive areas.