Back in June, the United States Supreme Court overturned a New York law that limited people from carrying concealed handguns, with a 6-3 decision ruling that the state’s restrictions violated the Second Amendment.
In response, state lawmakers and Governor Kathy Hochul signed a law that bans the carrying of firearms in “sensitive locations” that include Times Square, the subway and bus systems, bars, libraries, schools, poll sites, entertainment venues and more. The latter guidelines will officially go into effect this upcoming Thursday.
What that effectively means is that the city will have to geographically define where Times Square’s borders are in order to designate it a gun-free zone and put up corresponding signs.
Earlier today, City Council members held a hearing regarding the topic, introducing a bill that would help redefine Times Square as a sensitive location.
According to Patch, the new bill will both declare Times Square a “sensitive location zone” and also identify its geographical borders: Sixth to Eighth Avenues across West 40th through West 53rd Streets and the area between Eighth and Ninth Avenues between West 40th and West 48th Streets.
“The signage will be placed at every entry point in the zone,” explained Robert Barrows, the New York Police Department’s executive director of legal operations, during the meeting. “This will be temporary. More permanent signage will be installed if, as expected, his bill becomes law.”
The temporary placards, an example of which Barrows himself held up during the hearing, are expected to go up this Thursday. They will read, “Gun free zone” and “Licensed gun carriers and others may not enter with a gun unless otherwise specially authorized by law.” Any violation of the guidelines will be considered a felony.
As disheartening as the Supreme Court decision is, we are proud of New York City’s efforts to mitigate its repercussions.
Ex-Brit turned Manhattan resident since 2008.