Governor Hochul Announces New Concealed Carry Laws
Governor Kathy Hochul reminded New Yorkers recently that strengthened gun laws enacted following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to strike down the state’s century-old pistol permitting process took effect Thursday, September 1. The laws contain strengthened background checks and firearm safety and live-fire training for individuals seeking to obtain concealed carry permits; prohibit concealed carry permit holders from bringing their firearms into sensitive locations, including Times Square, bars, libraries, schools, government buildings and hospitals, among others; and require renewal or recertification of permits every three years. The Governor also announced a new Gun Safety Website to provide the public, gun owners, and gun dealers with a comprehensive information about all of the new requirements under state law.
“In response to the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down New York’s century-old concealed carry law, we took swift and thoughtful action to keep New Yorkers safe,” Governor Hochul said. “I refuse to surrender my right as Governor to protect New Yorkers from gun violence or any other form of harm. In New York State, we will continue leading the way forward and implementing common sense gun safety legislation.”
“New York is leading the way in the fight to reduce gun violence and save lives,” said Lieutenant Governor Antonio Delgado. We want to ensure that all members of our communities are safe, and these new conceal and carry laws will help prevent tragedies by ensuring that gun owners are properly trained, that safety measures are promoted and that firearms are not carried into sensitive locations.”
Governor Hochul also announced new permitting and minimum age requirements related to ownership of semiautomatic rifles taking effect Sunday, September 4, 2022. After that date, an individual must be at least 21 years old and have a permit prior to purchasing or taking possession of a semiautomatic rifle. These new requirements were included in a package of legislation signed by the Governor in response to the racially motivated mass shooting in Buffalo this spring. Licenses are not required for individuals who possessed semiautomatic rifles before September 4, 2022.
For more than 100 years, New York required individuals seeking concealed carry permits to undergo background checks, which included checking whether they had any criminal convictions that could disqualify them gun ownership, and character references. In response to the Bruen decision, the state has standardized and strengthened the background checks required for concealed carry permits by requiring four character references; a list of former and current social media accounts for the last three years; disclosure of applicant’s spouse or domestic partner, any other adults residing in the applicant’s home, including any adult children of the applicant; and an in-person interview with their licensing officer or designee. Licensing offers may request any additional information they deem appropriate.
The firearm training requirement applies to all concealed carry permit applicants on or after September 1, 2022 and includes individuals who live in New York City and Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester counties and are required to renew their permits. The 16-hour classroom and two-hour, live-fire firearm safety training course must meet the state’s new minimum standards. These standards are designed to provide licensed firearm owners the skills and knowledge necessary to safely store and carry their firearms, and educate them about other topics, including conflict de-escalation, suicide prevention and use of deadly force, that will help keep them and others safe.
Individuals who currently have concealed carry permits and recertify those permits with the New York State Police are not required to complete this new training. Renewal and recertification of concealed carry permits is now required every three years instead of five. By year’s end, the State Police plan to institute an online recertification process for permit holders.
Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said, “In response to the Supreme Court’s decision, implying that guns are more important than lives in this country, we passed legislation to ensure that New York State has safe and responsible gun laws. States are the last line of defense, which is why we stepped up to protect New York from being easily flooded with concealed weapons and keeping firearms out of the wrong hands. These measures, in addition to the previous anti-gun violence legislation we passed, are vital in a time when there are more guns than people in America. New York will continue to prioritize people’s safety and lives, and I thank my conference, Speaker Heastie, and Governor Hochul for their partnership.”
The State Police and state Division of Criminal Justice Services also developed Frequently Asked Questions about the new gun laws for the public, gun owners, and gun dealers. In addition to training and expanded background check requirements, the laws:
• Restrict individuals from carrying their concealed pistol or revolver in sensitive locations. Individuals who are not exempt from this restriction under the law can be charged with a felony for violating its sensitive locations provision. The state will launch / has launched a public awareness campaign to educate New Yorkers about these new restrictions.
• Require monthly checks of permit holders to determine if they have criminal convictions or court orders that may disqualify them from having concealed carry permits. The state will provide this information to local licensing officials for action.
• Mandate that firearms in unattended vehicles be unloaded and locked in a fire, impact, and tamper resistant storage depository that is hidden from view.
• Expand safe storage requirements if children younger than 18 or anyone prohibited from possessing a gun live in a home with firearms, rifles, and shotguns
The State Department of Environmental Conservation’s website has additional information about how the new laws pertain to hunting and hunting education activities, which include skeet and trap shooting competitions. These activities continue to be legal under the new laws.
The State Police also is working to implement other requirements that take effect in 2023: establishing state oversight for background checks for firearms (July 1); creating statewide permit and ammunition databases (August 1); and partnering with the state Division of Criminal Justice Services to establish an appeals board to review permit denials and revocations.