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New York lawmakers approve gun control legislation in special session after Supreme Court decisions

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New York Gov. Kathy Hochul signs new gun legislation
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul signs new gun legislation 02:06

ALBANY, N.Y. -- Gov. Kathy Hochul signed legislation Friday night that will limit where people can carry guns in New York.

The new law is in response to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling overturning the state's open carry restrictions, but it's not clear if the bill will withstand legal challenges.

As CBS2's Dick Brennan reports, the legislature passed a sweeping new gun law Friday, and the governor wasted no time putting her signature on it.

"We are creating a definitive list of sensitive locations where individuals will not be able to carry firearms," Hochul said.

The law enacted in response to the U.S. Supreme Court striking down New York's law last week as too restrictive.

"I consider today to be a return favor to the United States Supreme Court for what they have attempted to do to New York state's concealed carry law. The Empire State strikes back today," Sen. Brad Hoylman said.

Hoylman is particularly pleased that lawmakers were able to work out a plan to make Times Square a gun-free zone, making its estimated 50 million annual visitors feel safe from the dangers of gun violence.

The measure also bans weapons from subways and mass transit, and:

  • Bars gun permits for people with a history of dangerous behavior,
  • Requires background checks for ammunition purchases,
  • Updates gun storage laws, and
  • Bans guns in bars and restaurants unless they post a sign allowing them.

"What we're trying to do is protect the legitimate rights of private property owners by telling them they don't have to have someone walk into their establishment with a concealed weapon," Hochul said.

Republicans fought the bill, arguing that it would not protect New Yorkers from the wave of gun violence plaguing our streets.

"They expect us to be leaders who prioritize public safety. They want us, no, I take that back, they are begging us. They're begging us to set aside partisan politics and protect their families by passing meaningful legislation that will stop the horrific gun violence," Sen. Pamela Helming said.

"No data has been presented that shows concealed carry permit holders are drivers of gun violence," Assemblyman Jarett Gandolfo said.

"The increase in crime here in New York can only be addressed effectively one way, and that is by holding violent criminals accountable for their actions," Assemblyman Michael Tannousis said.

Critics say the gun law will face immediate challenges.

"This law is going to be thrown out in court, and it's just another indication of the failure of one party rule," Assemblyman Michael Lawler said.

The legislature is also moving to strengthen New York's equal rights and abortion laws by making them part of the state constitution.

"It is time that the government knows loud and clear that they must get their bans off our bodies," Assemblymember Jessica Gonzalez Rojas said.

The equal rights amendment will have to be voted on by the legislature again next year before a public referendum in November 2023. If approved, it would become a part of the constitution.

 

New York Assembly debates ban on carrying guns in certain places

New York Assembly debates ban on carrying guns in certain places 02:40

Gov. Kathy Hochul is making good on a promise to strike back at the Supreme Court, getting members of the state legislature to agree on a two-part legislation: new gun control measures and the first steps to codify the right to an abortion in the state constitution.

The emergency legislative session has been successful, and the deal has been struck.

The state Assembly is now debating new gun legislation that will prevent people from carrying weapons in a host of sensitive places, including all of Times Square. The Senate has already acted, but since the Assembly has a super majority, the outcome is assured.

"I am standing here to protect freedom and liberty here in the state of New York, protecting lives, protecting individual freedom," Hochul said.

As CBS2 political reporter Marcia Kramer reports, Hochul took a victory lap after she convinced state lawmakers to take on two supreme court rulings that shocked the state, striking down Roe v. Wade and declaring New York's century-old right to carry laws unconstitutional.

"We're not going backwards. They may think they can change our lives with the stroke of a pen, but we have pens too. We have a lot of pens," Hochul said.

The governor says that as soon as the Assembly finishes debating, she will sign new gun control laws that will severely limit the places -- sensitive places -- New Yorkers can carry weapons.

"I consider today to be a return favor to the United States Supreme Court for what they have attempted to do to New York state's concealed carry law. The Empire State strikes back today," Sen. Brad Hoylman said.

Hoylman is particularly pleased that lawmakers were able to work out a plan to make Times Square a gun-free zone, making its estimated 50 million annual visitors feel safe from the dangers of gun violence.

The measure also bans weapons from subways and mass transit, and:

  • Bars gun permits for people with a history of dangerous behavior,
  • Requires background checks for ammunition purchases,
  • Updates gun storage laws, and
  • Bans guns in bars and restaurants unless they post a sign allowing them.

Republicans fought the bill, arguing that it would not protect New Yorkers from the wave of gun violence plaguing our streets. They unsuccessfully sought an amendment pushing bail reform.

"They expect us to be leaders who prioritize public safety. They want us, no, I take that back, they are begging us. They're begging us to set aside partisan politics and protect their families by passing meaningful legislation that will stop the horrific gun violence," Sen. Pamela Helming said.

After the Assembly passes the gun bill, it is expected to take up the abortion resolution, which will enshrine the right to an abortion in the state constitution.

It still must be passed again next year before a public referendum in November 2023.

By Marcia Kramer
 

New York state Assembly debates abortion, gun control measures

NY Assembly meeting to debate abortion rights, gun control 02:15

The New York state Assembly is meeting in an emergency session to debate two measures intended to undo the effects of recent Supreme Court rulings on abortion and gun control.

The state Senate already passed both measures, and Gov. Kathy Hochul didn't wait to declare victory.

To quote Manhattan Sen. Brad Hoylman, today is an example of the Empire State striking back against the Supreme Court.

As CBS2 political reporter Marcia Kramer reports, the Senate started the process to enshrine the right to an abortion in the New York state constitution and redrew its gun laws to limit where, when and how New Yorkers can get and carry concealed weapons.

For Hochul, it was a double victory after being gob-smacked by federal jurists.

She spoke Friday afternoon about why New York needs to get new gun laws on the books.

"Imagine you're on a crowded subway and you bang into somebody inadvertently. Tempers flare, and the person that you banged into happens to be carrying a concealed weapon. Imagine you're in a bar, someone starts a fight, they have a concealed weapon on them. Imagine you're in Times Square, visiting with your family. You're on the way to a show with your family, and you're surrounded by people with concealed weapons. Does that make you feel more or less safe? I think we all know the answer to those questions," Hochul said. "And again, the numbers don't lie. According to data published two days ago, two days ago by the National Bureau of Economic Research, there's a 29% increase in firearm violent crimes when citizens are given the right to carry handguns. I will repeat that -- 29% increase in firearm violent crimes when citizens are given the right to carry handguns."

The Assembly is still debating both measures, which are stridently opposed by Republicans, but since the Democrats in the Assembly have a super majority, the outcome is not in question.

The abortion resolution will have to be voted on again next year before an expected public referendum in November 2023.

The governor is expected to sign the gun bill as soon as the Assembly acts.

By Marcia Kramer
 

New York state lawmakers reconvene in Albany

New York lawmakers in special session to pass gun control, abortion rights bill 03:02

New York state lawmakers have reconvened Friday in Albany after a late-night special session to pass gun control and abortion legislation in the wake of major Supreme Court rulings. 

Lawmakers debated all day Thursday and into the wee hours of the morning Friday, but haven't passed anything yet, CBS2's John Dias reported. 

Gov. Kathy Hochul has been adamantly against the Supreme Court overturning both the constitutional right to an abortion and New York's century-old gun law

Hochul's goal is to enact as many gun restrictions as possible that will pass constitutional muster. The proposal expands so-called "sensitive places" where guns would be banned, like mass transit.

It also:

  • Bars gun permits for people with a history of dangerous behavior
  • Requires background checks for ammunition purchases
  • Updates gun storage laws
  • Bans guns in bars and restaurants unless a posted sign says they're allowed

Deputy Senate Majority Leader Michael Gianaris thinks whatever passes will be subjected to a lawsuit. 

"With this Supreme Court, it's anybody's guess. They're destroying this country one decision at a time," Gianaris said. "We're trying to do the maximum we can within the restrictions and the handcuffs that the Supreme Court has put on us. But we absolutely intend to make it as difficult as possible for the wrong people to get their hands on guns."

Republicans have been opposing the measures, but Democrats hold supermajorities in both chambers. Assemblyman Doug Smith, who represents a large portion of Suffolk County, called the session "a joke" on Twitter. 

Early Friday morning, Hochul issued a proclamation to the session's agenda to add the right to abortion access to the state constitution.

"We refuse to stand idly by while the Supreme Court attacks the rights of New Yorkers," Hochul wrote in a Tweet.

The bill could take all day to pass, but it is expected to be signed into law soon after. It will almost certainly face legal challenges. 

By John Dias
 

Look back: Supreme Court strikes down Roe v. Wade

Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision met with anger, celebration 03:04
By Tony Aiello
 

Look back: Supreme Court overturns New York's century-old concealed carry gun law

Supreme Court overturns New York's century-old concealed carry gun law 03:14
By Ali Bauman
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