New York: Amid the bright lights and electronic billboards of New York’s Times Square, city authorities are posting signs proclaiming the bustling crossroads a “Gun Free Zone.”
The sprawling Manhattan tourist attraction is one of the scores of “sensitive” places — including parks, churches, and theaters — that will be off-limits for guns under a sweeping new state law going into effect Thursday. The measure, passed after a U.S. Supreme Court decision in June expanded gun rights, also sets stringent standards for issuing concealed carry permits.
New York is among a half-dozen states that had key provisions of its gun laws invalidated by the high court because of a requirement for applicants to prove they had “proper cause” for a permit. Gov. Kathy Hochul said last Friday that she and her fellow Democrats in the state Legislature took action the next week because the ruling “destroyed the ability for a governor to be able to protect her citizens from people who carry concealed weapons anywhere they choose.”
However, the law has led to confusion and court challenges from gun owners who say it improperly limits their constitutional rights.
“They seem to be designed less towards addressing gun violence and more towards simply preventing people from getting guns — even if those people are law-abiding, upstanding citizens, who according to the Supreme Court have the rights to have them,” said Jonathan Corbett, a Brooklyn attorney and permit applicant who is one of several people challenging the law in court.