NYC Mayor Adams signs law banning guns in Times Square amid legal challenge

WABC logo
Tuesday, October 11, 2022
Times Square gun ban signed amid legal challenge
The law makes Times Square a gun-free zone even as the state law underpinning the policy was overturned in federal court. Derick Waller reports.

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- Mayor Eric Adams signed legislation Tuesday establishing how the city will make Times Square a gun-free zone even as the state law underpinning the policy was overturned in federal court.

Adams said the 56 million tourists predicted to visit New York City this year should not have to "live in fear" as they walk through the Crossroads of the World.

"We will not allow them to live in fear or distrust that someone is walking around with a gun ready to harm them," the mayor said.

Adams, who owns three guns, said the designation of Times Square as a sensitive location was not intended to punish lawful gun owners. Rather he and other city leaders said it is untenable to have so many guns in a place as densely packed as Times Square.

"It is plain, good old common sense that no one should have a gun in Times Square," said Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, who joined the mayor for the bill signing.

The law, comprised of two pieces of legislation, defines the boundaries of the Times Square sensitive location and authorizes the NYPD to implement it.

Intro 518-A prohibits concealed carry permit holders from bringing their firearms within the Times Square sensitive location, and Intro 602-A designates the new boundaries of the Times Square sensitive location.

The bill signing comes as the very legislation on which it is based is being challenged in federal court.

A federal judge last week temporarily blocked enforcement of much of the law, including deeming Times Square as a gun-free area.

Times Square was defined as a "sensitive place" under legislation signed into law by New York Gov. Kathy Hochul over the summer, which took effect September 1.

But under that law, the city had to then define how the area will be policed and secured. Since September 1st, it has been policed under an NYPD emergency rule, pending City Council action.

In a 53-page order issued last Thursday, federal judge Glenn Suddaby, based in Syracuse, blocked the state from enforcing several provisions of its gun law - including making "sensitive" Times Square, along with museums, theaters, stadiums, libraries, places offering services to children and anywhere alcohol is served.

Suddaby agreed to a three-day stay of his ruling to allow the state to appeal, which it did Monday.

The state legislation was always expected to be challenged in federal court, and Suddaby's ruling underscored the difficulty that the state will have in restricting possession of firearms in public following the supreme court's June ruling invalidating its gun laws.

In appealing the ruling, state Attorney General Letitia James said "this common-sense gun control legislation is critical in our state's effort to reduce gun violence."

ALSO READ | 'Ghost cars' with fake plates racking up hundreds in EZ Pass fines

Ghost Cars with fake license plates are racking up hundreds in EZ Pass bills - leaving unsuspecting car owners with bills worth hundreds. Nina Pineda has the story.


* Get Eyewitness News Delivered

* More New York City news

* Send us a news tip

* Download the abc7NY app for breaking news alerts

* Follow us on YouTube

Submit a tip or story idea to Eyewitness News

Have a breaking news tip or an idea for a story we should cover? Send it to Eyewitness News using the form below. If attaching a video or photo, terms of use apply.