NYC to Have ‘Gun Free Zone’ Signs at Times Square
NEW YORK, NY (IANS) – The New York City Police Department is creating signs declaring Times Squares’ gun-free status.
Robert Barrows, the NYPD’s executive director of legal operations, held up one of the signs which read “GUN FREE ZONE”, at a City Council hearing on August 31, focused on securing sensitive spaces after the Supreme Court gutted New York state’s concealed carry handgun law.
After the June ruling, state lawmakers passed, and Governor Kathy Hochul signed laws prohibiting the carrying of concealed weapons in various high-risk settings including Times Square, subways, buses, and bars.
The rules take effect September 1.
City Council members also introduced their bill this month to redefine the Times Square area as a sensitive location after the ruling in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen.
Noting that more than 360,000 people pass through Times Square daily, Barrows said the state law and city bill “recognize that Times Square is a dense, complex and highly trafficked area”.
He said the NYPD is working to educate cops and the public alike on developments since the conservative Supreme Court’s ruling.
“The signage will be placed at every entry point in the zone,” Barrows said. “This will be temporary. More permanent signage will be installed if, as expected, this bill becomes law.”
He said sign installation will begin September 1.
The placard also says “Licensed gun carriers and others may not enter with a gun unless otherwise specially authorized by law” and warning that violation of the rule is a felony.
Before the Supreme Court ruling, which marked a historic expansion of federal gun rights into the public sphere and leveled a law that stood for more than a century, New Yorkers needed to show specific self-defense needs to acquire concealed carry handgun licenses.
The new state rules introduced after the decision make concealed carry a crime in sensitive places that include libraries, poll sites, schools, and entertainment venues.