The Assembly Chamber is pictured during a legislative session at...

The Assembly Chamber is pictured during a legislative session at the state Capitol in Albany, June 2. Credit: AP/Hans Pennink

ALBANY — New York State lawmakers gave final approval Friday to legislation that would set new requirements for obtaining a permit to carry a concealed weapon and ban guns from many places — from subways to parks to stadiums to Times Square.

And if any private business wants to allow guns, it would have to display signage saying so — providing a different approach in New York than in some other states.

The State Senate approved the new law Friday afternoon by a vote of 43-20 — with all Democrats in favor, all Republicans opposed. The Assembly passed it 91-51 Friday evening.

Gov. Kathy Hochul, a Democrat, and the Democratic-led State Legislature pushed through the new law just eight days after a U.S. Supreme Court decision struck a state law that restricted who could get a “concealed carry” weapon in New York.

Hochul, who won a Democratic gubernatorial primary on Tuesday, said the Supreme Court decision opened up the possibility of a rush of applications for concealed carry permits. Outlawing weapons from a range of places, Hochul said, keeps residents safe and ensures the state “does not become the Wild West.”

“Imagine you’re in Times Square and you’re surrounded by people with concealed weapons. Does that make you feel more or less safe?” Hochul said at a news conference after the Senate vote. “I think you know the answer.”

The bill was just one of two major pieces of legislation lawmakers took up prompted by decisions rendered by the Supreme Court.

Besides the gun bill, the legislature also approved a resolution to enshrine abortion rights into the state constitution — one week after the court overturned the landmark Roe v. Wade decision providing federal abortion rights. The Senate approved the resolution Friday afternoon.

But before the provision can take effect, the Senate and Assembly must approve it in a second legislative session next year and then voters would have to back it in a statewide referendum.

Hochul called lawmakers to Albany just a week after the court struck down New York’s century-old concealed carry permitting process for containing standards that were too vague.

In response, Hochul and the legislature agreed on a new law with a set of objective standards, such as mandating 16 hours of training, which includes two hours of supervised “live fire” training at a shooting range.

It also includes stronger requirements for “safe storage” of weapons.

But other provisions might test the limits of how far states can go in putting conditions on carrying a gun.

Applicants must provide four character witnesses and demonstrate the “essential character, temperament and judgment necessary to be entrusted with a weapon and to use it only in a manner that does not endanger oneself or others.”

Also, they must disclose former and current social-media accounts used during the past three years.

The list of places were guns are prohibited includes places of worship, playgrounds, street fairs, public protests, museums, public transit, casinos, day care and mental health centers, polling places and any place that serves alcohol.

Possession of a handgun in a private business setting would be banned unless the owners expressly allowed people to carry. That’s the opposite approach of some other states — and it angered some Republicans.

“Now we’re going to let the pizzeria owner decide whether or not I can express my constitutional right,” said Sen. Andrew Lanza (R-Staten Island) during the Senate debate. “See you in the courts. You all know this is unconstitutional.”

The new law will take effect Sept. 1.

It will exempt active-duty military and law enforcement members, as well as retired police, from the restrictions.

As part of the gun legislation, lawmakers will jump-start the use of a gun-ammunition database that was approved nine years ago but was stalled by the Cuomo administration and the then-Republican-controlled State Senate.

The so-called equality amendment would update the state’s Equal Protection Amendment in the state constitution to address abortion, officials said.

The amendment prohibits discrimination based on “race, color, creed or religion.” Lawmakers would add “pregnancy and pregnancy outcomes” to the list to protect abortion rights.

Further, they also would add “sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression” to the list.

With The Associated Press

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