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Gun law repeal bill proposed

Sen. Joe Griffo is legislatively on the record asking for a repeal of the state’s new gun laws.

Griffo, R-Rome, recently introduced S.9501 to repeal the changes approved by the state Legislature during its extraordinary session in late June in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in New York State Rifle and Pistol Association, Inc. v. Bruen, which struck down New York’s law requiring that an applicant for a concealed carry firearm license demonstrate proper cause. S.9501 is unlikely to be placed on a committee agenda when the state Legislature reconvenes in January.

“We all want to end gun violence and we agree that there is a real need to get illegal guns off the street,” Griffo said during a recent news conference. “However, the legislation passed by the legislative majorities in a nontransparent fashion and signed into law by the governor, which we and the public were given little time to scrutinize, is confusing and crafted without input from important stakeholders such as law enforcement. This legislation will further burden local governments, hurt small business owners and adversely affect the men and women throughout New York, especially those in upstate communities, who safely and responsibly utilize firearms.”

The state’s new gun laws require those applying for a license to carry a handgun to provide four character references, take 16 hours of firearms safety training and an additional two hours of practice at a range, undergo periodic background checks and turn over contact information for their spouse, domestic partner or any other adults living in their household. They will also have to turn over a list of social media accounts they have maintained in the past, though it’s not clear if they will have to provide licensing officers with access to social media accounts not visible to the public.

People also won’t be allowed to carry firearms at a long list of “sensitive places,” including New York City’s tourist-packed Times Square. That list also includes schools, universities, government buildings, places where people have gathered for public protests, health care facilities, places of worship, libraries, public playgrounds and parks, day care centers, summer camps, addiction and mental health centers, shelters, public transit, bars, theaters, stadiums, museums, polling places and casinos.

New York will also bar people from bringing guns into any business or workplace unless the owners put up signs saying guns are welcome. People who bring guns into places without such signs could be prosecuted on felony charges.

“We have a lot of questions and there’s a lot of very specific questions regardinghow it might apply to individual permits, and we try our best to answer a lot of those questions,” Romeo told Spectrum. “Unfortunately, as with I think the rest of the state, a lot of these things we don’t have the answers for.”

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