Goodell: No History Of Gun Laws As Strict As NY’s
Assemblyman Andrew Goodell isn’t sure if any other nation has the types of conceal carry limits New York has now signed into law.
Speaking on the Assembly floor Friday, Goodell said the restrictions Gov. Kathy Hochul signed into law shortly after the legislature approved them are more onerous than the restrictions struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court in New York State Rifle and Pistol Association Inc. v. Bruen.
“So the standard set by the court is that you have to look at historic regulations and see if there is an analogy,” Goodell, R-Jamestown, said. “That’s exactly what we are not doing here. As my colleague correctly pointed out, New York state has never prohibited guns on subways or trains or buses or mass transit or libraries or museums or zoos or in your private residence if you have to live in a multi-unit apartment or on private property unless you’re allowed by the owner or in every single bar or restaurant in the state of New York that has served alcohol. We have never done that. Never. And I’m not aware of any state in the nation that has that kind of gun-free zone that applies to virtually everywhere a normal citizen might be expected to walk or ride or be at work at or live at. In short, there is no historical analogy. None.”
People applying for a license to carry a handgun will also have to provide four character references, take 16 hours of firearms safety training and an additional two hours of practice at a range, undergo periodic background checks and turn over contact information for their spouse, domestic partner or any other adults living in their household. They will also have to turn over a list of social media accounts they have maintained in the past, though it’s not clear if they will have to provide licensing officers with access to social media accounts not visible to the public.
People also won’t be allowed to carry firearms at a long list of “sensitive places,” including New York City’s tourist-packed Times Square.
That list also includes schools, universities, government buildings, places where people have gathered for public protests, health care facilities, places of worship, libraries, public playgrounds and parks, day care centers, summer camps, addiction and mental health centers, shelters, public transit, bars, theaters, stadiums, museums, polling places and casinos.
New York will also bar people from bringing guns into any business or workplace unless the owners put up signs saying guns are welcome. People who bring guns into places without such signs could be prosecuted on felony charges.
One of Goodell’s criticisms and lines of questioning on the Assembly floor centered on the lack of data showing conceal carry permit holders are committing gun crimes. Jeffrey Dinowitz, D-Bronx, said he was unaware that any of the statistics Goodell requested existed, but defended the legislative proposal as necessary in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision in Bruen.
“I don’t have any data on anything on this entire list in terms of how many people have been murdered,” Dinowitz said. “The data I have in my head is that a lot of people are murdered, many of them by people who don’t have permits of course, but one thing I’m pretty clear on is if somebody goes into a bar without a gun they’re less likely to shoot somebody dead. Maybe they could punch somebody. But if they go in with a gun they can shoot somebody. The same thing is true of all of these locations. So not having the guns in sensitive locations is to me very important. Keep in mind what we’re trying to do here is, given last week’s Supreme Court ruling, is to try to comply with that ruling which reversed a law in New York that was in effect for over 100 years but, while complying with it, also trying to protect people from being killed.”
Republicans promised legal challenges last week, saying the legislation violates the Second Amendment as well as rights to privacy and free speech. Goodell said the legislation runs counter to one of the examples given by Justice Samuel Alito spoke specifically to New York City, where some people live in dangerous neighborhoods and reasonably believe having a handgun can keep them from being killed or mugged. Alito said the state’s unconstitutional “may carry” licenses wouldn’t allow someone to carry a gun if they were scared of the neighborhood in which they lived and could typically only get a conceal carry permit if they had been singled out for attack.
“This bill says that even though you have demonstrated a personal safety issue you no longer, under this bill, could carry a gun to protect yourself on the subway or to work or in your own apartment if it’s a multi-dwelling unit,” Goodell wrote. “That’s outrageous. And why. Because we’re told that we have to deal with the problem of licensed permit holders. People with a pistol permit, according to national data, account for about 54 murders nationwide, less than 1%. To put that in perspective, there are 751 bicycle deaths a year. You’re about 14 times more likely to die in a bicycle accident than to die with somebody with a pistol permit. But nothing in the last two days focuses on the other 99% of people who are killing everyone on our streets. Nothing.”