Governor Kathy Hochul of New York responded almost immediately to the Supreme Court’s decision that struck down her state’s law restricting the carrying of handguns – a decision announced as Ms Hochul prepared to speak before signing a school safety bill named for victim of Florida shooting in 2018.
“Shocking, absolutely shocking,” the governor said.
Ms. Hochul, visibly angry, said her team was reading the language of the ruling and had already prepared a bill to impose new restrictions on New Yorkers’ ability to carry guns. She planned to call the legislature back to Albany for a special session, she said, and was discussing dates with legislative leaders.
“During this special session, we will have developed language that identifies restrictions on sensitive locations, which we will define,” she said.
“I don’t think it’s going to take that long,” she added, saying the special session would likely take place in July.
Ms. Hochul said new laws would examine whether the state can restrict the carrying of handguns in sensitive locations. She also said the state is considering changing the licensing process to create basic qualifications for gun owners, including training requirements. And she said New York is considering a system where businesses and private owners can set their own gun restrictions.
In a statement, State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said, “The Supreme Court today decided that guns are more important than lives.
The measure Ms Hochul signed on Thursday is known as Alyssa’s Law, named after Alyssa Alhadeff, who was killed in the February 2018 shooting in Parkland, Florida. The law requires public school districts to consider installing panic alarm systems.
Zellnor Myrie, a Democratic senator from Brooklyn who is a leading voice in the legislature on gun violence, expressed exasperation with the Supreme Court’s decision and said state lawmakers had to act quickly.
“We knew it was going to be bad,” he said of the decision. “But to cut so sharply against its own precedent, and to eliminate the Second Amendment precedent tests that they have used in the past, and to base the entire analysis on historical tradition, it is as if it had been written by the NRA. It is breathtaking in its scale.
Mr Myrie said the decision was made while attending an elementary school graduation at a high school across from the 36th Street subway station in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, where 10 people were shot and dozens more injured when a gunman opened fire on a train. in April.
“I just think of the kids I just saw graduating, who have to live in a city or state or country where the government chooses guns over their lives,” he said.