NYPD enacts emergency rule enforcing Times Square as a gun free zone ahead of new NY law

The NYPD said it has received an additional 1,100 hand gun applications since the Supreme Court ruling.

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Wednesday, August 31, 2022
NYC declares Times Square a gun free zone ahead of new NY law
New York City Mayor Eric Adams is launching an outreach plan to educate New Yorkers about the new state gun law going into effect September 1.

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- New York City Mayor Eric Adams is launching a comprehensive outreach plan to educate New Yorkers about the new state gun law going into effect September 1.

The law was in response to the Supreme Court repealing the state's 100-year-old law limiting availability of conceal carry permits.

Still, the new state law requires gun owners to meet new and tighter requirements in order to carry a concealed weapon.

In addition, the city is creating gun free zones in so called "sensitive" parts of the city, including in Times Square.

Governor Kathy Hochul and Adams addressed public safety concerns on Wednesday, saying new provisions of the law will require concealed carry license applicants to meet revised requirements and complete a state-regulated firearms training course.

Anyone who already has a concealed carry permit and recertifies with the New York State Police is not required to complete the training.

"The U.S. Supreme Court's Bruen decision was the shot heard round the world that took dead aim at the safety of all New Yorkers," Adams said. "New York City will defend itself against this decision, and, beginning tomorrow, new eligibility requirements for concealed carry permit applicants and restrictions on the carrying of concealed weapons in 'sensitive locations,' like Times Square, take effect."

The sensitive place boundaries proposed by the New York City Council will extend from Sixth Avenue to Eighth Avenue and from West 40th Street to West 53rd Street.

"Times Square is back to pre-pandemic pedestrian crowding," said Tom Harris, president of Times Square Alliance during Tuesday's hearing. "Given the high and continuously growing levels of foot traffic, we appreciate the state's recognition as a very dense area deserving an extra layer of public safety protection."

Signage will be posted along those boundaries and within Times Square saying guns are prohibited in the area.

"For Times Square specifically, the law requires signage in the designated zone, it is clear and conspicuous," said Robert Barrows, Executive Director, NYPD Legal Operations and Projects. "I do have a copy of the signage, what that will look like, the signage will be placed at every entry point in the zone, there will be two signs on each side. This will be temporary, more permanent signage will be installed, if as expected, this bill becomes law, that is another opportunity I think to educate our officers as well because precinct personnel and Manhattan south personnel will start installing these signs by September 1."

Other sensitive locations outlined by the law include bars, libraries, schools, government buildings, and hospitals among other public spaces.

The locations will have to apply for and renew their status as a sensitive location every three years.

"In response to the Supreme Court's decision to strike down New York's century-old concealed carry law, we took swift and thoughtful action to keep New Yorkers safe," Hochul said. "I refuse to surrender my right as governor to protect New Yorkers from gun violence or any other form of harm. In New York State, we will continue leading the way forward and implementing common-sense gun safety legislation."

Hochul also announced new permitting and minimum age requirements for semiautomatic rifles will take effect on September 4, which were included in legislation signed by the governor in response to the mass shooting at a Buffalo supermarket.

The new requirements state that an individual must be at least 21 years old and have a permit before purchasing a semiautomatic rifle

The state has already permitted firearms to be barred in the "area commonly known as Times Square," as part of its Concealed Carry Improvement Act, but officials left it up to the city to determine precise boundaries.

The sensitive area only applies outdoors, not inside buildings within Times Square.

NYPD officials say the department has a targeted education campaign, reaching out to licensed gun owners or applicants who will be impacted.

Officials also say the NYPD will be able to enforce the new gun-free zone without additional officers, technology, data collection, or checkpoints.

Ahead of the new law, which also includes new background checks for gun purchases, there has been a surge in gun applications.

The NYPD said it has received an additional 1,100 handgun applications since the Supreme Court ruling.

The legislation is expected to be challenged in court.

Council members, meanwhile, said that in the future, there could be additional designated sensitive areas.

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