New York State’s new concealed weapon law is set to go into effect September 1, effectively requiring local establishments to post signage stating whether or not they allow customers to carry concealed weapons, and that poses a problem for local businesses.
The problem? The Town of Crawford doesn’t have the zoning permits for these signs, and Councilman Rory Holmes and the rest of the board have been working to get information on how to obtain the appropriate zoning for the newly required signs.
The exact law states: “Restricting the carrying of concealed weapons in sensitive locations and establishing that private property owners must expressly allow a person to possess a firearm, rifle, or shotgun on their property. Individuals who carry concealed weapons in sensitive locations or in contravention of the authority of an owner of private property will face criminal penalties.”
“We’ve reached out to the state officials, and even Senator Skoufis, but we still don’t have any information from them on how to enforce these new laws. We are in a position now where the legislation is going into effect in a couple weeks, and we aren’t exactly sure of the procedure yet,” said Holmes.
The next step for the Town of Crawford and officials statewide, is obtaining the proper zoning plans to erect the signs needed to comply with the new NYS legislation, along with getting business owners to cooperate in adding these signs to their property. The law states that if property owners want to allow guns on their land, it is mandatory to put up 4-8 signs to cover all sides of the property. If people don’t want guns on their property, they don’t have to put up signs. For private businesses, it’s the same story.
Debbie Saft, proprietor of Borderline Deli, is wondering how signs are going to stop people from entering businesses with concealed firearms.
“If the firearm is concealed and hidden, how am I supposed to know if they have it on them or not,” Saft wondered. “Isn’t that the whole point of a concealed firearm? Am I supposed to trust that they obeyed the signs out front? It just seems difficult to enforce this law and I don’t think signs are going to stop it from happening.”
On June 23, a Supreme Court ruling in the case NYSRPA v. Bruen deemed New York State’s gun laws unconstitutional, and struck down a licensing law that said residents of New York State had to show a special need to obtain a concealed carry permit.
As a direct response to the decision, on July 1, New York Governor Kathy Hochul signed a landmark legislation to strengthen gun laws in the state, and tighten restrictions on concealed carry weapons, a direct contrast to what the Supreme Court ruled.
“We are taking swift and bold action to protect New Yorkers, and the package of new laws is designed to do just that,” the governor said in a statement released in July. The Supreme Court’s decision ultimately ended a 100-year legal precedent that stated people had to demonstrate a “proper cause” to obtain a concealed firearm license.
The list of sensitive locations include: Airports, Bars and restaurants that serve alcohol, Courthouses, Daycare facilities, playgrounds and other locations where children gather, Educational Institutions, Emergency shelters, including domestic violence shelters and homeless shelters, Entertainment venues, Federal, state, and local government buildings, Health and medical facilities, Houses of worship, Libraries, Polling sites, Public demonstrations and rallies, Public transportation including subways and buses, and finally, Times Square.