KAUNEONGA LAKE — There was hardly an empty seat to be found at Sorella’s in Kauneonga Lake on Thursday, November 17 as people gathered for a discussion of New York State’s Concealed …
KAUNEONGA LAKE — There was hardly an empty seat to be found at Sorella’s in Kauneonga Lake on Thursday, November 17 as people gathered for a discussion of New York State’s Concealed Carry Laws.
Hosted by the Town of Bethel Republican and Conservative Parties, speakers included Sullivan County Clerk Russell Reeves, Sheriff Michael Schiff and pistol instructor Richard Sheldon.
The meeting comes after recent changes to the law in June and July.
On June 23, 2022, Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) issued a 6-3 ruling that struck down part of New York’s Concealed Carry Law. Specifically, the court ruled that the provision requiring an applicant to show “proper cause” in order to obtain a license to carry a concealed handgun outside their home was unconstitutional.
In response to the SCOTUS decision and a mass shooting at a grocery store in Buffalo, the New York State Legislature held a special hearing to pass new legislation which was signed by Governor Kathy Hochul on July 1, 2022.
The new law changed the concealed carry permitting process, added new eligibility requirements and further restricts people from legally carrying weapons in certain “sensitive” public places, including large crowd events, public transportation and establishments that serve alcohol.
County Clerk Reeves explained how his office has been trying to keep up with changes to the law and how important it is for people to be aware of them so as to avoid serious legal consequences.
“It actually changed dramatically the situation in New York State,” Reeves said.
Reeves said pistol permit applications are still available through the Sullivan County Clerk’s office and amendment forms are available without having to come into the office. He walked everyone through different aspects of law, took questions and discussed how some parts have created more questions than answers.
If a private business or property has a “CCW” sign it means that concealed carry is welcome. However, Restaurants that serve alcohol cannot permit concealed carry.
“You have to assume, unless you know otherwise, that you’re in a ‘sensitive area’ because they really made it very broad,” Reeves said.
Governor Hochul and supporters in the state legislature argue the law helps keep people safe and reduce gun violence. Many at Sorellas last week contended that, far from keeping New Yorker’s safe, the State unconstitutionally targets law-abiding gun owners.
There are several lawsuits pending and the law could face obstacles in the courts.
“I think it’s onerous. I think it’s unconstitutional and I think morally it’s basically wrong in our country,” Sheriff Schiff said. “The Constitution is very clear where it stands on firearms and our right to bear arms.”
More information about gun laws in New York State can be found at gunsafety.ny.gov.
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