Hinchey and Tague have mixed views on new state gun laws | columbia county

ALBANY — A special session of the state Legislature produced a package of gun legislation signed by Governor Kathy Hochul that strengthens the state’s gun laws.

The bills were passed after a June 23 US Supreme Court ruling that struck down a century-old New York gun law that required people to show adequate cause to obtain a license. to carry a concealed firearm.

The package of legislation Hochul signed into law on July 1 will expand eligibility requirements in the state’s concealed carry permit process, including firearms training courses for applicants.

The legislative package includes provisions that allow the state to regulate and standardize the training of license applicants, and restrict the carrying of concealed weapons in sensitive locations, such as schools and government buildings.

The new law, which takes effect Sept. 1, also requires private property owners to expressly allow a person to possess a firearm, rifle or shotgun on their property and also establishes state oversight of background checks. of firearms and periodic checks of license holders. for criminal convictions.

A week before the legislative package was passed, the Supreme Court ruled that applicants for concealed carry permits in New York no longer needed to demonstrate a need for self-defense when applying for a permit.

“A week ago, the Supreme Court issued a reckless decision that removed centuries-old limitations on who can carry concealed weapons in our state, setting us back senselessly and endangering the safety of our residents,” Hochul said in a statement. . “Today we are taking swift and bold action to protect New Yorkers. After a detailed review of the NYSRPA vs. Bruen and extensive discussions with constitutional and political experts, advocates, and legislative partners, I am proud to sign this historic legislative package that will strengthen our gun laws and tighten restrictions on concealed weapons. I want to thank Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins, House Speaker Heastie, and all of our partners in the Legislature for their willingness to address this critical issue with urgency and precision. I will continue to do everything in my power to combat the epidemic of gun violence.”

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State Sen. Michelle Hinchey, D-46, voted in favor of the gun legislation, also praising the state Senate’s advancement of the first passage of an amendment to codify the right to abortion and the right to contraception into the state Constitution. The amendment would also update the existing Equal Rights Amendment to expand current protections to several new categories, including based on sex, disability, national origin, and ethnicity.

“As the Supreme Court continues to send a strong message that they don’t care about the future of our country, our children and our communities, it is up to New York to pick up the pieces and lead during this time of failure and abdication at the federal level,” he said. Hinchey in a statement. “I am proud of the work we have done during this extraordinary session to protect people in all facets of life, including promoting common sense security measures around concealed carry and, after generations of advocacy, taking historic action. to pass the Equal Rights Amendment. , our first step toward enshrining the right to access abortion and establishing women and our LGBTQIA community as equal citizens in our state Constitution.”

Hochul called the Legislature into special session on June 30 to address the issue of concealed carry. Sensitive places where the new law would make carrying a concealed firearm a punishable offense include airports, bars and restaurants that serve alcohol, public transportation, Times Square in New York City, and places of worship.

“Keeping the people of New York State safe is our highest priority and I am proud to support the Governor and Legislature in enacting the measures implemented today,” Lt. Governor Antonio Delgado said in a statement. “With this action, New York has sent a message to the rest of the country that we will not sit idly by and let the Supreme Court overturn years of sensible gun regulations.”

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Assemblyman Chris Tague, R-102, voted against the gun legislation on Friday.

“It is incredibly disappointing that the majority has decided to respond to a Supreme Court ruling that makes our unconstitutional gun laws even more unconstitutional,” Tague said in a statement. “As well-intentioned as some of these proposals are, it doesn’t take a Harvard lawyer to see that this bill won’t survive an ounce of legal scrutiny.”

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