Just one week after the Supreme Court overturned “may issue” concealed carry permits in its landmark decision of New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen, New York Governor Kathy Hochul signed a new bill into law to neutralize the Court’s “monumental setback.”
Introduced, passed by both houses of legislature, and signed by the Governor all in one day, the fast-tracked bill (NY S51001) establishes refined application requirements for carry permits and bolsters the state’s stranglehold on firearms and ammunition, among other provisions.
Below, we summarize the bill and its impact on gun owners and FFLs in the Empire State.
Concealed Carry Permits
Despite the Supreme Court striking down New York’s requirement for carry permit applicants to “demonstrate a special need for self-protection,” the Court maintained shall-issue licensing is constitutionally permissible, leaving the door open for states to require fingerprinting, background and mental health record checks, and training in firearms handling and laws regarding the use of force.
Taking full advantage of the Court’s ambiguity while still conforming to their decision, New York’s latest legislation will now require the following of concealed carry permit applicants:
- The essential character, temperament, and judgement necessary to be entrusted with a weapon and to use it only in a manner that does not endanger oneself or others
- No convictions of assault in the third degree, misdemeanor driving while intoxicated, or menacing in the last five (5) years
- Minimum 16 hours of in-person live firearms safety curriculum, including firearm safety, gun storage, state and federal gun laws, situational awareness, conflict de-escalation, best practices when encountering law enforcement, prohibited sensitive places, conflict management, use of deadly force, suicide prevention, and basic marksmanship
- Minimum two (2) hours of a live-fire range training course, including a written exam
- In-person interview with licensing officer
- Submission of names and contact information of partners, other adults, and children living in the applicant’s home
- Submission of names and contact information of at least four (4) character references
- Submission of social media accounts within the last three (3) years
- Submission of other “reasonably necessary” information
If approved, issued licenses are good for just three years.
While a carry permit enables residents to carry concealed firearms in public, firearms are still prohibited from so-called ‘sensitive locations.’ Listed in the bill, such locations include, but are not limited to:
- Any place owned or under the control of federal, state, or local government
- Any place of worship or religious observation
- Libraries, public playgrounds, public parks, and zoos
- In or upon any building or grounds of any educational institution
- Any place, conveyance, or vehicle used for public transportation
- Any establishment licen3d for on-site consumption of alcohol or cannabis
- Any place used for performance, art entertainment, gaming, or sporting events
- Any location being used as a polling place
- The area commonly known as Times Square
In addition, when stored in a vehicle and out of the owner’s possession or control, firearms must be stored in an appropriate safe storage depository and out of sight from outside of the vehicle.
Though the bill’s new carry permit requirements grabbed headlines, the legislation includes additional provisions regarding background checks.
First, the state redefines ‘rifle’ and ‘shotgun’ to not only include “common, modern” firearms, but also muzzle loading, flintlock, and black powder varieties. Typically excluded due to their outdated designs and limited use – especially in crimes and gun violence – the bill ensures transactions involving firearms of all types are protected by a background check.
However, muzzleloaders aren’t the only new items that will require a background check in the state of New York. Nearly a decade after its original passage, the SAFE Act provision requiring background checks for ammunition purchases will finally be implemented. Previously lacking adequate technology to track such purchases, S51001 creates a statewide license and record database for ammunition sales, requiring licensees retain electronic or otherwise organized records. Such records will be maintained by the state of police.
Meanwhile, firearm and ammunition national instant criminal (NICS) background checks will be conducted by a new division within the state police, making New York the 15th and latest state authorized to serve as a point of contact (POC). Following Delaware last month, 15 states are now recognized as “Full POC States” while another six are known as “Partial POC States,” where only background checks for handguns and handgun permits are conducted by the state whereas others are still performed by FBI NICS.
Any dealer in firearms who sells, delivers, or otherwise transfers firearms and ammunition shall contact the division of state police to conduct a NICS background check and pay a fee imposed by the division for performing such background check.