Hochul Prepares New Legislation in Response to New York Gun Law Ruling


Gov. Kathy Hochul of New York responded almost immediately to the Supreme Court ruling that struck down her state’s law restricting the carrying of handguns — a decision announced as Ms. Hochul was preparing to speak before signing a school safety bill named for a victim of a Florida shooting in 2018.

“Shocking, absolutely shocking,” the governor said.

Ms. Hochul, visibly angry, said that her team was reading the language of the decision and that they had already prepared draft legislation to place new restrictions on New Yorkers’ ability to carry guns. She planned to call the legislature back to Albany for a special session, she said, and was discussing dates with legislative leaders.

“In that special session, we will have worked out language that identifies restrictions on sensitive locations, which we will be defining,” she said.

“I don’t think this is going to take that long,” she added, saying that the special session would likely take place in July.

Ms. Hochul said that new laws would look at whether the state could restrict carrying handguns in sensitive locations. She also said that the state was considering changing the permitting process to create basic qualifications for gun owners, including training requirements. And she said New York was considering a system where businesses and private property owners could set their own restrictions on firearms.

In a statement, the state’s senate majority leader, Andrea Stewart-Cousins, said, “the Supreme Court today decided that guns are more important than lives.”

The measure Ms. Hochul signed on Thursday is known as Alyssa’s Law, named for Alyssa Alhadeff, who was killed in the February 2018 shooting in Parkland, Fla. The law requires state school districts to consider installing panic alarm systems.

Zellnor Myrie, a Democratic state senator from Brooklyn who is one of the legislature’s leading voices on gun violence, expressed exasperation with the Supreme Court’s ruling and said state lawmakers needed to move quickly.

“We knew it was going to be bad,” he said of the ruling. “But to cut against its own precedent so sharply, and to eliminate Second Amendment jurisprudence tests that they have utilized in the past, and to base all the analysis in historical tradition, it’s as if it was written by the NRA. It’s breathtaking in its scope.”

Mr. Myrie said the ruling came down as he was attending an elementary school graduation at a high school across from the 36th Street subway station in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, where 10 people were shot and dozens more injured when a gunman opened fire aboard a train in April.

“I just think about the children I just saw graduate, who have to live in city, state or a country where the government chooses guns over their lives,” he said.

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