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‘Gun-free zone’: NYC Officials Designate Times Square a Sensitive Location

Published: August 31, 2022
gun-free zone times square nyc
This photo shows a sign indicating that Time Square in Manhattan, New York, will be designated a "gun-free zone." (Image: Reuters)

New York State Governor Kathy Hochul, New York City Mayor Eric Adams, and law enforcement officials addressed public safety at a news conference Wednesday (August 31) ahead of new gun laws going into effect in New York State.

“I’m proud to announce that the changes to the law will go into effect this week, most of them taking effect tomorrow, which is why we’re meeting today, “ said Hochul, speaking at a press conference Wednesday, Aug. 31.

“And these will strengthen the background checks and the gun safety training requirements, prohibit concealed carry in secure, sensitive locations, and require permit renewals every three years instead of five years.”

The changes to the law follow the U.S. Supreme Court decision in June that said there was a constitutional right to carry weapons in public. The court’s conservative majority threw out the gun-license laws of New York and other states for denying some people those rights.

In July, lawmakers in New York state’s Democratic-controlled legislature passed a law overhauling licensing requirements and creating a long list of “sensitive locations” where possessing a gun would be a new felony.

The list included parks, schools, courthouses, public transit and bars. Only one location was singled out by name: Times Square.

On Wednesday, Adams said the city is posting signage around Times Square “informing people that the area is a gun-free zone… And then licensed gun carriers and others may not enter with a gun unless otherwise specifically authorized by law.”

Hochul also announced that a law to raise the age to purchase a semiautomatic weapon to 21 will go into effect on Sept. 4. She also said New York State will be the first state to require training for firearm permits.

“We have to deal with the fact that we believe that people who now will be able to secure these [concealed carry permits] under the ruling should go have a more comprehensive background check, an in-person interview, household members contact information as well as reviewing social media. They also will undergo a 16-hour classroom training and a 2-hour live firearm training safety course. And we will be the first state to require training for firearm permits,” she said.

By Reuters. (Production: Hussein Waaile, Christine Kiernan)