Confusion Abounds As New York Gets Ready to Roll Out New Gun Laws 

Confusion abounds in New York as the state gets ready to roll out a bevy of new gun restrictions on Sept. 1, 2022.

All the head-scratching stems from legislation known as the “Concealed Carry Improvement Act,” (CCIA), that was rammed through in the immediate aftermath of the Supreme Court’s decision, NYSRPA v. Bruen, striking down New York’s unconstitutionally restrictive “may issue” standard.  

“Rammed through” is not overstating what transpired. Gov. Hochul and the Dems in the Legislature passed the bill the same day it was introduced, bypassing a longstanding mandate in the state Constitution that requires at least a three-day review period.

There was no time to discuss nor debate many of the controversial provisions, including requirements that a permit applicant satisfies all of the following:

  • Display “good moral character” 
  • Disclose their social media accounts for review 
  • Have in-person interviews with law enforcement  
  • Provide four “character references” 
  • Undergo 18 hours of combined training

Mark Oliva, director of public affairs for the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the firearms industry trade association, told GunsAmerica that the CCIA “flies in the face of what the U.S. Supreme Court” stated in the Bruen decision.

“The test is still subjective and now includes privacy concerns with citizens required to submit their social media for screening and an approval process that is left to the whims of bureaucrats to grant or deny without objective criteria,” said Oliva.

Additionally, the new law bans guns in so-called “sensitive locations,” which is a blanket term that has yet to be clearly defined.  

SEE ALSO: Gun Control Group Repeats President Biden’s War Threats Against Gun Owners

“Further, the state’s attempt to draw arbitrary and wide circles around sensitive places still serves to deny the ability for New Yorkers to legally carry a concealed firearm,” observed Oliva. “The state’s unwillingness to resolve these issues with less than one month before the law goes into effect is only rivaled by their unwillingness to hold criminals accountable and lock them up.”

Assemblyman Billy Jones (D-115) agrees that Hochul is flying blind. Jones sent a letter to the governor’s office in July asking for clarification. But it went unanswered. On Aug. 4, Jones released a statement expressing his frustration.

“New Yorkers deserve to know exactly what this bill means for lawful gun owners across the state, especially residents of the Adirondack Park who are worried that they will be guilty of a Class E felony because of concealed carry restrictions in state parks,” he said.

“There are also concerns about having enough training facilities and certified instructors in rural communities across the state to provide the training required under this new legislation that needs to be addressed,” he continued.

On the law enforcement front, sheriffs across the state are also left with more questions than answers.

Chelsea Merrihew, the Deputy County Clerk for Essex, told The Sun Community News that her office has been fielding a lot of calls from concerned gun owners.

“That’s what’s made it especially hard recently,” Merrihew said. “Everybody’s calling, and we’re just not really able to give them a lot of answers. That’s very frustrating.”

SEE ALSO: Gun Control Group Repeats President Biden’s War Threats Against Gun Owners

Essex County Sheriff David Reynolds is also trying to make sense of legislation.

“Everything in here is written confusingly,” Reynolds said. “I’m not a lawyer, so we’re trying to interpret it.”

Montgomery County Sheriff Jeff Smith pointed out to WNYT that the state updated the training requirement from four to 18 hours but provided no guidance on what the new curriculum should include.

Moreover, Smith was critical of lawmakers for rushing the bill through without input from law enforcement. He contends it would have made sense to have Sheriffs at the table as they are charged with processing the applications.

The New York Sheriffs’ Association made a similar complaint in July about not being consulted when the bill was being drafted. The NYSA said:

We want to be clear: The Sheriffs of New York do strongly support reasonable licensing laws that aim to assure that firearms do not get into the wrong hands.  We do not support punitive licensing requirements that aim only to restrain and punish law-abiding citizens who wish to exercise their Second Amendment rights.  If we had been consulted before passage of these laws, we could have helped the Legislators discern the difference between those two things, and the result would have been better, more workable licensing provisions that respect the rights of our law-abiding citizens and punish the lawbreakers.

Gov. Hochul’s office recently told WNYT that it would not be providing clarification nor would it be commenting on “any aspect of the law” because at least one gun-rights group, Gun Owners of America, has filed a lawsuit challenging the CCIA in court.

Everything remains clear as mud. What some might call a complete and total SNAFU.

New York pistol permit holders and applicants need to remember this come November, as Gov. Hochul is up for re-election.

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About the author: S.H. Blannelberry is the News Editor of GunsAmerica.

{ 10 comments… add one }
  • JD August 14, 2022, 10:00 pm

    with the government getting free access to your social media isn’t that a form of censorship and control? but only if they don’t like it. Want to bet they don’t like it if you voted for Trump?

  • Dale August 14, 2022, 1:05 am

    The Sheriffs already have the answer to tell the people, it’s called the Constitution, all they have to do is obey it and defy the communist state of New York. The simple fact that they are in limbo doesn’t say much for their loyalty to or their love of America.

  • EasyEddie August 12, 2022, 11:19 am

    The ‘Excelsior State’ is now ‘Hochul’s House of Horrors’. When I got my concealed carry license, I had to have the County Sheriff’s Dept. take my fingerprints. I had to submit the names/address/numbers of five character witnesses as part of the application program. Once complete it was returned to the County Clerk’s office. From there I was subject to background checks on the county, state, and federal level. All of my character references were contacted. It took 6 months or more to finally get the license.

    Social Media back in 2000 wasn’t much of a thing. The ‘good moral character’ requirement is laughable…who get to decide what your ‘moral character’ is? The people who are responsible for writing and passing this draconian legislation deeply believe that ‘transitioning’ children with puberty blockers and surgery for gender reassignment, exposure to the LGBTQ lifestyle should begin in first grade, free hypodermic needles can be handed out to addicts, children should be scared into believing that unless we live like Ice Age farmers the planet will die, it’s perfectly normal to have story time at the library with transpeople reading…street violence, looting, arson, assault is acceptable as a form of protest. I could go on and on. Point being, these are the very people who claim to have the Moral High Ground in contemporary society. I suspect it will be a ‘panel’ of ‘these people’ who will be the judges of your moral character.

    And no, I no longer live there. I’m hoping this new law will make it to SCOTUS quickly.

  • Brett Collier Salamon August 12, 2022, 11:16 am

    Laws that forbid the carrying of arms . . . disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes . . . Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.
    Thomas Jefferson
    The constitutions of most of our States assert that all power is inherent in the people; that… it is their right and duty to be at all times armed.
    Thomas Jefferson
    Let your gun therefore be your constant companion of your walks.
    Thomas Jefferson
    These are just a few from Mr. Jefferson, there are many more.
    So, I think you are in error Mr. Blue

  • Blue Dog (he/him) 🧢 August 11, 2022, 10:47 am

    Even Thomas Jefferson recognised that it was inappropriate for citizens to carry arms in cities.

    • TexDad August 12, 2022, 7:43 am

      Cite source or admit you made that up.

      • PacosMojo August 12, 2022, 8:51 am

        The thing is a lying Marxist. “Blue Dog” and it’s fascination with personal pronouns should’ve given it away.

        • TexDad August 12, 2022, 10:32 am

          He’s a long time troll here and lacks the ability to make any sense other than expressing contempt for human rights.

          I think it’s still valuable to point out the lies and nonsense.

      • D.J. August 13, 2022, 8:38 pm

        He can’t , and he’ll never admit to fabrication
        because “it “ thrives on provocation of readers
        of this publication .

  • Dr Motown August 11, 2022, 8:31 am

    Some of these requirements are clear violations of the 4th and 5th Amendments….but when do Democrats ever care about the Constitution?

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