The New York State Senate, moving to counter last week’s Supreme Court ruling on the state’s gun restrictions, passed a bill on Friday that would ban firearms in “sensitive places,” including schools, churches and even Times Square.
The bill passed in a 43-to-20 vote and headed to the State Assembly, which was expected to approve the legislation as soon as Friday night and send it to Gov. Kathy Hochul for her signature.
“We are taking some straight-forward steps today to ensure that our gun laws in New York are strong and keeping people safe,” State Senator Brian P. Kavanagh said.
Last week, in a 6-to-3 decision, the Supreme Court decision struck down a century-old New York State law that banned the carrying of guns outside the home.
Writing for the majority, Justice Clarence Thomas said that the Second Amendment protected “an individual’s right to carry a handgun for self-defense outside the home,” but indicated that states could continue to restrict guns in certain locations like schools and government buildings.
The New York gun bill is seen as a test of how states can still rein in the proliferation of handguns in light of the Supreme Court’s decision. And other Democrat-led states with similar laws to New York, including New Jersey and Hawaii, that are considering new legislation, may look to New York’s effort.
New York’s gun bill, which would ban concealed guns on private property unless allowed by the property owner, would extend to: health care facilities; houses of worship; colleges and universities; places where children gather, such as schools, day care centers, playgrounds, parks and zoos; public transportation; places where alcohol or cannabis is consumed; and entertainment venues, including theaters, concert halls and casinos.
Lawmakers also moved to ban weapons at protests or places where people have congregated to express their rights to free speech.
And it would require New Yorkers who seek concealed-carry permits to go through 16 hours of training on how to handle a handgun, two hours of firing-range training, an in-person interview and a written exam.
Representative Lee Zeldin of Long Island, the Republican nominee for governor, had previously spoken out against creating gun-free zones.
“If you’re going to identify a location, and you’re going to tell the criminal that at that location there will be no law-abiding New Yorkers who will be safely and securely carrying a firearm in their defense, you are putting the safety of other people at that location at risk,” Mr. Zeldin said at a news conference in Buffalo on Thursday.
Under the previous law, New Yorkers were required to show that they had “proper cause” to obtain a permit, that they were at least 21 years old, that they had no felony or serious offense convictions and that they had “good moral character.”
They also needed to show that they had a heightened need for self-protection.
Under the gun bill, carrying a weapon in a prohibited area would amount to a felony punishable by up to four years in prison. But the legislation would not apply to properly licensed security guards at work, former military members or retired law enforcements officials.
“I want to make sure that we’ve done everything we can to protect the citizens of this state,” Ms. Hochul said at a news conference on Wednesday, a day after winning the Democratic primary for governor.
She said that the expansive list of places where guns would be banned was crafted to reassure New Yorkers “that when they go there to gather, work, places of worship, polling places and larger gathering spaces, they don’t need to worry about someone being right there next to them having a weapon.”
Nicholas Fandos, Jonah E. Bromwich and Tracey Tully contributed reporting.