July 7, 2022 – In response to the Supreme Court’s landmark decision striking down New York’s discriminatory and unconstitutional concealed carry handgun permitting process, Democratic leaders of the state rushed through several bills last week that will ultimately make it even more difficult and restrictive to legally carry a concealed handgun for self-defense in New York.
When the new laws go into effect on September 1, S.51001/A.41001 will require a person seeking to obtain a concealed carry permit to be “of good moral character,” and submit character references and information on their social media accounts.  It also requires completion of a sixteen-hour standardized safety course, including live fire, to be approved by the State Police.  
There are also numerous restrictions on where someone with a permit can legally carry a handgun. According to the law, a person may not possess a firearm on private property unless the owner has affirmatively permitted such possession by “clear and conspicuous signage indicating that the carrying of firearms, rifles, or shotguns on their property is permitted.”  Thus, unless a sign indicates possession is allowed, it is a crime (Class E felony) to carry a firearm on any private property, even though it is open to the public, such as hotels, restaurants, and stores.  
In addition, a person will be guilty of a felony if they possess a firearm in any one of the defined “sensitive locations,” including: all government property, health care facilities, places of worship, libraries, public playgrounds, public parks, zoos, schools, mass transit (buses and subways), any location licensed to serve alcohol or cannabis on premises, any place used for the arts, gaming, sporting events, permitted special events on public streets or sidewalks (fairs, parades, demonstrations), “any gathering of individuals to collectively express their constitutional rights to protest or assemble,” and “Times Square” in New York City (at any time, not just on New Year’s Eve).  The law also prohibits leaving a handgun in a locked car while entering a restricted location, unless the handgun is unloaded and secured in a “safe storage depository” out of sight from the outside of the vehicle. The law specifically states that a vehicle’s “glove box” is not sufficient.
The new laws in New York also mandate that all ammunition sales be documented in a statewide database.  In order to allow background checks to be conducted on ammunition sales, New York State will take over all background checks for firearms (Point of Contact) from the FBI (NICS).  The law mandates that all firearm and ammunition sales be approved by the State Police, and that dealers maintain electronic records of all firearm and ammunition sales.
Both New Jersey and Delaware passed anti-PLCAA laws attempting to establish statutory public nuisance laws that will qualify as an exception to the immunity provisions of the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (“PLCAA”), a federal immunity law protecting firearms industry members from being sued when their products are misused by criminals. The New Jersey law, A.1765, gives the New Jersey Attorney General power to bring a lawsuit against firearm manufacturers and dealers under a public nuisance theory for the “negligent, reckless, and illegal conduct of bad actors in the gun industry.”  It creates a “statutory cause of action” as an attempt to circumvent the PLCAA.  It sets forth a list of “reasonable controls” that “gun industry members” must follow to avoid liability for creating a public nuisance. 
The Delaware law, Senate Bill 302, similarly creates a statutory public nuisance cause of action.  It also repeals a prior law, which gave firearm industry members a complete defense to civil lawsuits if they followed the state’s firearm distribution and sales requirements. 
Renzulli Law Firm, LLP will continue to monitor significant firearms legislation at the federal and state level.  If you have any questions concerning firearm related legislation in New York and elsewhere, please contact John F. Renzulli or Christopher Renzulli.