New York lawmakers restrict handgun carrying and work to protect abortion rights

The New York state legislature passed a new gun control law in an extraordinary session that ended late Friday, beginning the process to protect abortion rights in the state constitution.

The session was convened by Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) in response to US Supreme Court rulings last week that expanded gun rights – knocking down a New York law that severely restricted the ability to carry concealed handguns – and Roe v. Wade overturned and eliminated a nearly 50-year abortion right.

“We’re here because of a number of Supreme Court rulings that have come literally in the last day or two of session,” Hochul said at a news conference on Friday. “And then it was heartbreaking. It has been a difficult week for our nation.”

The new gun law restricts carrying handguns in public by banning them in places like schools, libraries and parks. It also prohibits concealed carry at private companies unless the company specifically agrees.

“New Yorkers’ constitutional liberties were simply trampled on by Kathy Hochul and her henchmen in the Legislature,” said Nick Langworthy, chair of the GOP State Committee. “Only under the insanity of the New York Democrats can you get out of prison for owning 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 abortion rights in the New York Constitution if made law.

Both houses of the state legislature are controlled by Democrats. Republicans strongly opposed 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 only see them as temporary setbacks because I refuse … to relinquish my right as governor to protect New Yorkers from gun violence or any other form of harm.” New York lawmakers restrict handgun carrying and work to protect abortion rights

James Brien

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