Several parts of New York State’s concealed carry gun laws requiring more stringent background checks are now in effect, Governor Kathy Hochul announced Wednesday in Midtown Manhattan.
The governor called the state’s Concealed Carry Improvement Act the “leading gun law” in the nation. Hochul said the act was passed after the Supreme Court had “struck down my ability as the governor of the state of New York to protect our citizens from individuals with concealed carry guns.”
“We had to respond quickly,” Hochul said at the briefing. “We took strong actions and it was challenged in court.”
The laws take effect days after Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor rejected the latest attempt by individuals “dead set on thwarting our gun laws” to halt the act before they went into effect, Hochul said.
“This will ensure that the Concealed Carry Act’s improvements related to stronger background checks for guns and ammunition remain on track,” Hochul said. “There was an effort to thwart this and to stop this to get an order against it.”
Counteracting Supreme Court ruling
Hochul signed the Concealed Carry Improvement Act in July 2022, eight days after the Supreme Court — in a 6-3 vote — overturned a 100-year law in the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen case that required anyone who carried a concealed handgun outside of their residence to show “proper cause” for a license.
In the ruling, the Supreme Court majority deemed the century-old law unconstitutional because it gave too much discretion to the state and its licensing officers in determining “proper cause.” The state was then directed to amend its laws on concealed carry permits.
What it means for New York gun owners
Parts of the Concealed Carry Improvement Act that have taken effect mandate that the New York State Police will handle background checks for guns, instead of the FBI.
The next change is that when someone buys ammunition, they are required to go through a background check and pay new fees. There is now a $9 fee for a new firearm, shotgun, and rifle purchases and $2.50 for ammunition. These fees will go towards the state’s background check system.
The law requires periodic on-site inspections of firearm dealers to make sure they’re doing what they’re expected to do — which now will remain intact as part of Sotomayor’s new order.
“As a result of Sotomayor’s actions last night, we can be assured and feel secure that our law is sound and that it is going to be implemented,” Hochul said. “This is just another way we can implement one of my highest priorities — the public safety of all New Yorkers.”