Gun possession is a hot topic in New York. As covered in our blog back in June, the US Supreme Court struck down part of New York’s concealed pistol carry permit licensing scheme. In that case, the high court found that the state’s “proper cause” requirement violated the Second Amendment. In response, state legislators prepared new laws as well as qualifications for eligibility for a concealed carry permit. Now, these new regulations will go into effect on September 1, 2022.
Summary of Legislation
- Restricting concealed carry in certain locations
- Making the default “no concealed carry” on private property and businesses, unless such carry is deemed permissible by property owners
- Establishing new eligibility requirements for those seeking concealed carry permits
- Expanding the disqualifying criteria for those seeking concealed carry permits
- Enhancing the safe storage requirements and extending such requirements to vehicles
- Requiring backgrounds checks for all ammunition purchases
- Amending the body armor purchase ban to include hard body armor
“Proper Cause” for Concealed Carry Permit
Regarding the “proper cause” requirement for a concealed carry permit, the Penal Law will be amended to reflect the recent Supreme Court decision.
- Prior to Supreme Court case: A license for a pistol or revolver … shall be issued to … have and carry concealed, without regard to employment or place of possession, by any person when proper cause exists for the issuance thereof … .
- New law: A license for a pistol or revolver … shall be issued to … have and carry concealed, without regard to employment or place of possession subject to the restrictions of state and federal law, by any person … .
Applications for a Concealed Carry Permit
Under the new laws and regulations, a person must demonstrate “good moral character” to be eligible for a concealed carry permit. Specifically, this is defined as “having the essential character, temperament and judgment necessary to be entrusted with a weapon and to use it only in a manner that does not endanger oneself or others.”
To apply for a concealed carry permit, the application must include four or more character reference letters. Specifically, these persons must be from those who can “attest to the applicant’s good moral character” and that the applicant “has not engaged in any acts, or made any statements that suggest they are likely to engage in conduct that would result in harm to themselves or others.”
Moreover, an applicant must provide the names and contact information for their partners as well as all adults they live with. Additionally, they must disclose whether minors reside with them. Further, the applicant must also provide “former and current social media accounts” from the past three years, and the licensing official may require additional information relevant to the application. After applying, the applicant must meet with a licensing officer for an in person interview.
Concealed Carry Permit Training Qualifications
To be eligible for a concealed carry permit, an applicant must complete 16 hours of in-person live classroom instruction. At the end of the training, a written test will be given which the applicant must pass by a minimum of 80%. The course covers various topics, including:
- General firearm use and storage safety
- State and federal gun laws
- Conflict de-escalation and management
- Adverse effects of alcohol or drug use
- Use of deadly physical force
- Suicide prevention
Significantly, an applicant must also complete two hours of live-fire training. At the conclusion, the applicant must demonstrate proficiency in a live-fire assessment. The training includes topics such as:
- Range safety
- Safe drawing, target acquisition, and re-holstering
- Dry firing
- Safe loading and unloading
- Performing a firearm condition check
- Safely discharging the firearm
Note that existing licensees will not be able to re-certify their licenses without satisfying the new training requirements.
Even those who possess permits to carry concealed will not be allowed to carry in certain places. Specifically, there are “sensitive locations” and “restricted locations” where firearms will not permitted starting September 1.
Regarding sensitive locations, this includes government offices; locations providing health services; places of religious observation; playgrounds and parks; childcare facilities; shelters; educational institutions; public transportation and facilities; bars serving alcohol or cannabis; conference centers and similar venues; protests; and Times Square in NYC. As to restricted locations, this includes privately-owned locations. However, if the owner proactively puts up a sign saying guns are permitted, concealed carry with a permit is allowed.
- Penal Law Article 400, Licensing and Other Provisions Relating to Firearms. Available at: https://www.nysenate.gov/legislation/laws/PEN/P4TWA400 (last accessed Aug. 31, 2022).
- NYS Governor Press Release, Governor Hochul Signs Landmark Legislation to Strengthen Gun Laws and Bolster Restrictions on Concealed Carry Weapons in Response to Reckless Supreme Court Decision (Jul. 1, 2022). Available at: https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/governor-hochul-signs-landmark-legislation-strengthen-gun-laws-and-bolster-restrictions (last accessed Aug. 31, 2022).
- NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services & NYS State Police, Minimum Standards for New York State Concealed Carry Firearm Safety Training (Aug. 23, 2022). Available at: https://www.criminaljustice.ny.gov/FINAL%20NYSP-DCJS%20Minimum%20Standards%20for%20Firearm%20Safety%20Training%208-23-22.pdf (last accessed Aug. 31, 2022).
- NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services & NYS State Police, Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Recent Changes to New York State Firearm Laws (Aug. 27, 2022). Available at: https://troopers.ny.gov/system/files/documents/2022/08/new-gun-law-faq-8-27-22-final-1.pdf (last accessed Aug. 31, 2022).
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