New York will ban people from carrying firearms into many places of business unless the owners put up a sign saying guns are welcome, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced on Wednesday, describing a deal with state legislative leaders that is being finalized.
Hochul said lawmakers have agreed on the broad strokes of a gun control bill that the Democratic-led Legislature is poised to pass Thursday.
The legislation hurriedly written after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the state’s handgun licensing law will include provisions that make it harder to apply for a permit to carry a gun outside the home and create more rules around firearm storage in homes and vehicles.
Hochul and the fellow Democrats who control the Legislature also plan on creating a comprehensive list of sensitive places where the average citizen will be banned entirely from carrying firearms, including government buildings, hospitals, schools and public transit.
But Hohcul said she also wanted to protect the rights of property owners, including the proprietors of bars and restaurants, who decide they don’t want firearms on the premises.
"Businesses who want guns would have to put up a sign reading: Concealed weapons welcome here," or words to that effect, Hochul said. Otherwise the presumption will be in the state of New York that they are not.
The push to pass new restrictions follows the Supreme Court’s decision striking down New York’s century-old licensing law, which required people to show an unusual threat to their safety to carry a handgun outside their home.
The state’s handgun permitting system is still in effect for now, but it is likely to lead to many more New Yorkers getting permits that allow them to carry a concealed handgun for personal defense.
"We are going to be facing a wave of concealed weapons in our parks, our subways, gathering places," Hochul said.
Hochul didn’t release the text of the legislation Wednesday. She said she’s working with lawmakers to hammer out specifics, including on her proposal to bar people with a history of dangerous behavior from getting permits.
She said her staff has been working on the legislation that will stand up in court. The Supreme Court ruling said states could ban firearms in particular locations but warned that it would likely be unconstitutional to simply ban guns in all densely populated areas.
"I will go right up to the line, I will not cross the line, but I know we will do whatever we can to protect New Yorkers," Hochul said.