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Thousands rush to apply for gun permits in New York days before "good moral character" requirement takes effect

Rush for gun permits in New York before "good moral character" law takes effect
Rush for gun permits in New York before "good moral character" law takes effect 03:08

NEW YORK -- An increasing number of New Yorkers are rushing to apply for concealed weapon permits before a new law making it more difficult to carry a gun takes effect Thursday. 

When the U.S. Supreme Court overturned New York's struct gun permit laws in June, there was an expectation that more people would seek the right to pack heat, so to speak. But then the legislature stepped in to impose a number of new conditions that sparked a stampede of people trying to avoid things like having to turn over social media posts to prove they deserve a permit. 

Gun enthusiasts who were only allowed to fire their weapons at a gun range before the high court struck down the state's tough gun permit laws are among the thousands of people now anxiously seeking full carry permits, CBS2's Marcia Kramer reported Monday. 

CBS2 discovered 9,187 people applied to the state for fingerprinting for gun permit background checks in August alone. That's a stunning increase from the 3,187 who applied in August 2021. 

Experts say the rush to get gun permits before the new law takes effect is because people don't like the new requirements developed by Gov. Kathy Hochul and state officials to blunt the effects of the Supreme Court's decision. 

The new law says applicants must get 16 hours of hands-on gun training that includes firing and turn over three years of social media posts to prove they are of "good moral character." 

"This is going to ensure that we have qualitative people that are afforded these gun permits," said Darrin Porcher, a Pace University professor and former NYPD lieutenant. 

The NYPD refused to say how many of the nearly 15,000 who requested gun permit fingerprinting in July and August were from New York City. The department only has figures through July, according to a spokesperson. 

"The data provided is the data currently available. We have requested updated statistics. There is no timetable as to when they will be available," the spokesperson said. 

It may be related to the fact that the NYPD might have to hire more people for the gun unit to go through the social media posts. Porcher says it's not a good time to do that when all hands are needed to fight crime. 

"We're gonna have to acquire more people, more officers in the NYPD from a patrol function into an administrative aspect, and that's a problem considering the upward trend of violence in the city of New York," said Porcher. 

Hochul said the new law will also prevent people from carrying their weapons in numerous sensitive places, including, "the subways, and our parks, and our places of worship, and our schools, and even Times Square."

Hochul said she intends to hold an event Wednesday with videos explaining the new laws and unveil a messaging campaign about why the new provisions are necessary. 

There are several lawsuits challenging various components of the new law.

The NYPD later provided us with numbers indicating an additional 1,100 hand gun applications have been received since the Supreme Court ruling.  

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