As New York lawmakers continue to work on passing new gun laws, Gov. Kathy Hochul has stated that she wants to ban people from carrying firearms into many places of business unless the owners put up a sign explicitly saying guns are welcome.
Per the Associated Press, businesses that are open to having guns around would have to put up a sign reading “concealed weapons welcome here,” or words to that effect, the Democratic governor said.
“Otherwise, the presumption will be in the state of New York that they are not,” Hochul said. “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,” she added.
Gun rights groups, however, objected to the idea that guns could be prohibited from many places by default.
“She’s telling business owners how they need to conduct their business if they want to stay open,” Aaron Dorr, the executive director of the New York State Firearms Association, told the news agency.
“These are unconstitutional mandates, and I think it’ll be struck down by the courts,” he continued.
Hochul’s remarks come a week after the Supreme Court, by a vote of six to three, struck down a 108-year-old New York law limiting who can obtain a license to carry a concealed handgun in public. According to the Associated Press, roughly a quarter of the U.S. population currently lives in states that are expected to be affected by the decision. The states of California, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Rhode Island all have laws similar to New York’s—and those laws are expected to be quickly challenged.
Justice Clarence Thomas wrote that the Constitution protects “an individual’s right to carry a handgun for self-defense outside the home.”
That particular right is not a “second-class right,” he continued. “We know of no other constitutional right that an individual may exercise only after demonstrating to government officers some special need,” Thomas argued.
In a statement, Hochul responded by saying that “in the wake of the reckless Supreme Court decision to strike down the 'proper cause' provision of New York's concealed carry law … we will enact new policy that carefully regulates access to concealed carry permits within the confines of the decision.”
Meanwhile, President Joe Biden said he was “deeply disappointed” by the ruling.
It “contradicts both common sense and the Constitution, and should deeply trouble us all,” he added. “I call on Americans across the country to make their voices heard on gun safety. Lives are on the line,” Biden said.
Ethen Kim Lieser is a Washington state-based Finance and Tech Editor who has held posts at Google, The Korea Herald, Lincoln Journal Star, AsianWeek, and Arirang TV. Follow or contact him on LinkedIn.