Officials across the country are gearing up to counteract the effects of the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn New York’s restrictive gun-carry licensing scheme.
Last week the Court struck down New York’s “special need” requirement for attaining a carry license on the grounds that it violated the Second Amendment, and the backlash from many Democrats was immediate and resolute. The ruling will force New York and a half dozen other states with similar laws to reexamine and replace their policies, but some lawmakers have already indicated a desire to push back against the judgment and maintain tight strictures.
Governor Kathy Hochul (D., N.Y.) was quick to decry the ruling as “reckless and reprehensible.” She announced her intent to bring the legislature back into session to address the subject. Hochul’s aim is to limit where firearms are permitted to be carried by blocking the ability to carry on private property unless explicitly stated otherwise by the owner.
“We’re going to protect the rights of private property owners; allow them to not have to be subjected to someone walking into their workplace or a bar, restaurant with a concealed weapon,” Hochul said in a press conference.
The new regulations being created in many of the states that had “special need” requirements are likely to face immediate legal scrutiny. Gun-rights advocates have already taken issue with many of the moves Democrats have made in recent days, arguing that these new laws also violate the Supreme Court’s framework.
New Jersey’s acting attorney general Matthew Platkin released a clarification on the state’s permit laws, emphasizing that the permit requirements not struck down by the Court remain in place.
“I want to make it perfectly clear that carrying a handgun without a permit is still illegal in New Jersey and applicants must satisfy all other statutory and regulatory requirements – including a thorough background check – before obtaining a permit to carry here,” Platkin said in a press release. “New Jersey is leading the way by taking commonsense action to protect our residents and law enforcement officers from the daily threat of gun violence – and the Supreme Court decision will not change that.”
Some California officials are taking a different tact and planning for an influx of concealed-carry permits. Sheriff Alex Villanueva of Los Angeles County announced a new standard for reviewing permit applications in an online briefing Wednesday. He expects upwards of 50,000 permits in LA county alone.
“We are retooling our operation to a ‘shall issue’ standard, so bear with us as we go through it,” Villanueva said. “We’re already seeing an increase in applications being submitted. And we had already moved in that direction since I took office.”
Adding to a situation already in flux, the state is crafting new gun legislation in response to the ruling. State Senator Anthony Portantino, a Democrat, announced that he is working to tighten gun-carry laws with bill SB-19. The bill raises the minimum age to obtain a permit in California to 21, imposes new gun training and storage requirements, limits the locations where individuals can carry a firearm, and further strengthens the licensing regime.
“We’re going to push the envelope, but we’re going to do it in a constitutional way,” Portantino told the Associated Press.
Daniel Reid, the NRA’s Western regional director, lambasted California’s “confusing patchwork” of regulations and called it a “shell game” designed to evade the Court’s ruling.
“We’re seeing a complete redrafting of places where law-abiding citizens can carry in the state of California,” Reid told the wire service.