New York Lawmakers Restrict Handgun Carrying, Act to Protect Abortion Rights
The New York State Legislature passed new gun control legislation and began the process of protecting abortion rights in the state constitution, in a special session that s ended Friday evening.
The session was called by Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) in response to US Supreme Court rulings last week that expanded gun rights – overturning a New York law that dramatically limited the ability to carry concealed handguns – and overturned Roe v. Wade, eliminating a nearly 50-year right to an abortion.
“We’re here because of a series of Supreme Court decisions that literally came down in the last two days of sittings,” Hochul said at a news conference on Friday. “And there, it was heartbreaking. It has been a difficult week for our nation.
New gun laws prohibit people from carrying handguns in public by banning them from places like schools, libraries and parks. It also prohibits concealed carry in private businesses, unless the business expressly consents to it.
“The constitutional freedoms of New Yorkers have been trampled upon by Kathy Hochul and her pawns in the Legislative Assembly,” said Nick Langworthy, chairman of the GOP State Committee. “Only under the madness of New York Democrats can you get out of jail free for possessing an illegal firearm, but be targeted by the government for being a law-abiding citizen exercising your constitutional rights.”
The state Senate also passed an equal rights amendment that would enshrine the right to abortion in the New York constitution in the event that it becomes law.
Both houses of the state legislature are controlled by Democrats. Republicans were outright opposed to the gun law, but seven of their 20 senators voted in favor of the equal rights amendment.
“The Supreme Court decisions were certainly setbacks,” Hochul said. “But we view them as temporary setbacks, as I refuse…to waive my right as governor to protect New Yorkers from gun violence or any other form of harm.”