June 24, 2022
Albany, NY

Governor Hochul Reminds Gun Owners: No Immediate Changes to Gun Policies and Permitting Process

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Governor Hochul Reminds Gun Owners: No Immediate Changes to Gun Policies and Permitting Process
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Supreme Court Ruling in NYSRPA vs. Bruen Decision Does Not Give Current Residential Permit Holders Automatic Ability to Carry Guns Outside Home

Governor Plans for Special Session of the Legislature to Enact New Laws That Strictly Regulate Firearm Access Within Legal Confines of Supreme Court Decision

For FAQ on the NYSRPA vs. Bruen Decision, Click Here

Governor Kathy Hochul today issued a reminder to gun owners that the U.S. Supreme Court's Thursday decision to strike down New York's concealed carry law does not mean New York State's licensure processes and rules do not need to be followed. It does not automatically give current residential permit owners the ability to carry guns outside the home. Gun owners are required by law to follow current restrictions. 

As the administration closely reviews the ruling, Governor Hochul is planning for a special session of the legislature to enact new laws that conform with the U.S. Supreme Court's decision, while also ensuring that access to firearms is carefully regulated. The Governor is also working closely working with local government — convening the mayors of New York's six largest cities on Thursday afternoon — to discuss the impact of the decision and the policy options under consideration. 

"While the Supreme Court's appalling decision to strike down New York State's concealed carry law has potentially vast and far-reaching implications, it does not activate any immediate changes to State gun license and permit laws, nor does it allow residential permit owners to carry their weapons outside their homes," Governor Hochul said. "As the case returns to lower court, we encourage responsible gun owners to continue to follow their current restrictions, and always put safety first. While we are disappointed with the Supreme Court's reckless disregard for the safety of our communities, we are prepared to fight. I am planning for a special session of the legislature where we will explore a wide range of legislative options that will keep us in compliance with this ruling, while also creating a thorough and strict permitting process that prioritizes the safety of our communities. I look forward to working with the legislature, local and county government leaders, and legal experts, and will stop at nothing to protect New Yorkers." 

"Yesterday, the Supreme Court sent us backwards in our efforts to protect families and prevent gun violence by striking down a NY law that limits who can carry concealed weapons. While the implications are not immediate, New York is committed to taking action and enacting a new set of laws that will work around this ruling," Lieutenant Governor Antonio Delgado said. "If the Supreme Court and federal government won't act to keep our children safe, then New York will." 

NYSRPA vs. Bruen Overview 

In order to clarify the immediate and long-term impact of the decision, Governor Hochul is also providing a broad overview of the NYSRPA vs. Bruen case, its current status, how it does and does not impact gun owners today, the possible long-term implications, and the actions the State is exploring to keep communities safe. 

In their 6-3 decision, the Supreme Court ended a 100-year legal precedent requiring individuals to demonstrate "proper cause" to obtain a license to carry a concealed firearm. It deemed New York State's existing law unconstitutional because it gives too much discretion to the State and its licensing officers in determining "proper cause." The case now returns to New York's 2nd Circuit Court — which must issue a ruling that aligns with the Supreme Court opinion. 

While the Supreme Court decision has long-term implications, the decision has no immediate impact on firearm licensing or permitting. This means people cannot immediately legally carry a concealed firearm without obtaining the currently required permits or licenses. As of now, the application process to obtain a license or permit is unchanged. Those wishing to change their permit status to acquire an "unrestricted carry" permit must file an application with their designated local licensing authority. Gun owners must continue to follow current restrictions.   

The State is exploring a wide range of options, including creating concealed carry restrictions on sensitive locations, changes to the concealed carry permitting process, implementing specific training for permit applicants, and creating a system where private businesses would have to apply for exemptions to allow concealed carry weapons. The Supreme Court acknowledges that this ruling does not prohibit states from imposing licensing requirements for carrying a handgun in self-defense—as long as the requirements fit within the confines of the decision. The administration will work with the legislature and local and county governments to develop a strict and thorough licensing criteria that fits within that framework. 

For FAQ on the NYSRPA vs. Bruen decision and its impact, click here

New York City Mayor Eric Adams said, "The Supreme Court opinion claims to be based on our nation's historical past, but it ignores the reality of the present and endangers our future. Nothing changes today, and the NYPD will continue to ensure that if you illegally carry a gun in New York City, you will be arrested. While we have no doubt that this decision will make every single one of us less safe against gun violence, we have been preparing for it and will continue to do everything possible to work with our federal, state, and local partners, as well with mayors, municipality leaders, and governors from other states, to protect our city. We will leave no stone unturned as we seek to mitigate the damage that we are witnessing because there is no place in the nation that this decision affects more than New York City. This Supreme Court decision may have opened up an additional river that is going to feed the sea of gun violence, but we will work together to dam that river." 

Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan said, "I am deeply concerned for the safety of New Yorkers resulting from the Supreme Court's decision to strike down our state law that limited who can carry a concealed handgun. Gun violence has skyrocketed across the nation during the last two years, and this decision will make it even harder for our police department to discern between legal and illegal guns. With one of the lowest rates of deaths by guns anywhere in the nation, it is clear that arming ourselves with more concealed weapons will not make us safer. I commend Governor Hochul for convening the mayors of New York's largest cities to discuss the impact of this decision and potential policy solutions, and look forward to working with the Governor, New York State Legislature, and municipalities across New York State ensure we keep our residents safe." 

Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown said, "The Supreme Court majority has failed to consider the lives and safety of millions of people. In the City of Buffalo, we have seen first-hand the terrifying impact of mass shootings, made possible by easy access to guns. The City of Buffalo will work closely with Governor Hochul to do everything in our power to protect the lives and safety of our residents and keep guns out of the hands of people who should not have them." 

Rochester Mayor Malik Evans said, "The City of Rochester will work closely with our partners at New York State to ensure that this recent Supreme Court decision does not jeopardize the safety of our residents." 

Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh said, "The Supreme Court's decision is a setback to gun safety and could not have come at a worse time. We already have too many firearms on our streets. Adding more only heightens the risk of gun violence. In Syracuse and across New York State, people need to recognize that the ruling does not change the fact that gun owners must follow all current restrictions and permitting processes. I appreciate Governor Hochul's immediate outreach to me and other mayors on Thursday to talk about our state's response to the decision and commend her on ensuring that New York continues to take a leadership position in pushing for gun safety." 

Yonkers Mayor Michael Spano said, "I commend the speed with which Governor Hochul pulled together the big cities to deal with this. By loosening the rules regarding guns, the Supreme Court is heading in wrong direction right now. We can't get Congress to regulate AR-15s, but the Supreme Court chooses to toss what restrictions we do have. Yonkers is glad to be working with the Governor and the other big cities to deal with this decision.  Yonkers has always had a low crime rate, and it has recently been at record lows. Stopping gun violence is our number one priority, and anything that loosens restrictions on guns is going to make the police department's job that much harder." 

Contact the Governor’s Press Office

Contact us by phone:

Albany: (518) 474 - 8418
New York City: (212) 681 - 4640

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