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Albany Democrats aim to meet ‘next week’ after SCOTUS gun decision


State lawmakers could return to Albany as early as next week to pass new legislation in response to the U.S. Supreme Court striking down century-old restrictions on carrying concealed weapons.

“My wish is to do it as soon as possible. I just work with [legislators’] schedules as we speak. We should be able to announce something very soon. But I would love to see it done next week,” Governor Kathy Hochul told reporters on Friday.

A Democratic source in Albany, who requested anonymity to speak candidly, said Democratic leaders are considering next Thursday and Friday the next legislative days after the June 28 primary election.

The governor said she wants lawmakers to tackle gun restrictions on multiple fronts following the controversial ruling released Thursday morning that prohibits officials from denying concealed carry permits based on the proof that they have been a “good cause” to pack the heat.

According to the ruling, states still appear to have leeway to ban firearms in “sensitive” places like “schools and government buildings,” though the ruling doesn’t specifically say whether other places like cinemas or sports arenas are eligible.

“We will identify which are the sensitive places that have an increased level of concern – schools, places of worship, events of a certain size, for example,” Hochul said on Friday.

Hochul, who is running in the Democratic primary scheduled for June 28, also aims to ban guns from private businesses unless the owners affirmatively approve of them.

Permits could still remain difficult to obtain by adding additional education requirements for applicants, Hochul suggested.

“Our judgment now is that these will be solid, but we’ll just check that out,” she said on Friday of the range of ideas she tossed around.

Hochul said she would like lawmakers to do something as soon as possible.
Matthew McDermott
Albany Democrats aim to meet ‘next week’ after SCOTUS gun decision
A Democratic source told the Post that lawmakers are looking to meet after the primary election.
Getty Images/iStockphoto

State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins ​​told WNYC on Friday that her chamber is preparing to act as early as “next week.”

“It’s at [the governor] but I think it will happen very soon. I would say in a week or two more,” she said of her chamber’s convening schedule.

Lawmakers’ top priorities would likely be defining what “sensitive” places mean in practice and minimizing the presence of firearms in public, Stewart-Cousins ​​added.

Albany Democrats aim to meet ‘next week’ after SCOTUS gun decision
State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins ​​is working on changes to the SCOTUS firearms ruling.
Gregory P. Mango

A spokesman for Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie did not respond to repeated requests for comment on when his chamber might reconvene.

“We will continue to work with the Senate and the Governor to ensure that New York has the strongest gun laws possible,” he said in a statement Thursday.

The scheduled last day of the 2022 state legislative session was June 3, although the state Assembly and Senate may meet at any time at the call of their respective leaders or by the governor.

New York Post

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