Legislative Update – New York State Legislature Returns for Extraordinary Session

On Thursday, June 29th, lawmakers returned to Albany for an Extraordinary Session where they passed two pieces of legislation in response to two U.S. Supreme Court rulings from last month. The first was the Concealed Carry Improvement Act. The bill implements several changes to New York’s concealed carry and gun laws, including:

  • Outlining who may lawfully possess a firearm;
  • Creating a new licensing procedure for those seeking to obtain a concealed carry license, which includes a more extensive background check process, requiring gun safety training, and other various requirements;
  • Creating a new licensing procedure for firearms dealers;
  • Setting requirements for the safe storage of firearms;
  • Amending the definitions of “body armor” and “body vest; and
  • Creating a list of sensitive places where the possession and carrying of firearms is prohibited. Sensitive places include places under the control of federal, state, or local government, any place providing health, behavioral health or chemical dependance care or services, any place of worship or religious observance, libraries, public playgrounds, public parks, zoos, any place licensed, regulation certified, funded or approved by the Office of Children and Family Services, Office People with Developmental Disabilities, Office Addiction Services and Supports, Office of Mental Health, Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, residential settings licensed, certified, regulated, funded or operated by the Department of Health, nursery schools, daycares, summer camps, homeless shelters, family shelters, domestic violence shelters, emergency shelters, the buildings or grounds of various educational institutions, public transit, establishments where alcohol is served or sold, any place where cannabis is served or sold, theaters, stadiums, racetracks, museums, amusement parks, performance venues, concerts, exhibits, conference center, banquet halls, gaming facilities, video lottery terminals, polling places, public sidewalks or other public area restructured from general public access for a limited time or special event issued a permit by a governmental entity, gatherings of individuals collectively expressing their constitutional right or protest or assemble, and Times Square.

The second piece of legislation passed during the Special Session was the Equal Rights Amendment, which is a constitutional amendment. Under the amendment, equal rights and abortion rights protections for New Yorkers would be enshrined in the New York State Constitution once it completes the constitutional amendment process.