Why New York State’s recently confirmed gun-free zones won’t work in the neighborhoods that need them most

.45 caliber guns are still prohibited on 45th Street. The United States Supreme Court gave New York a green light to interim enforcement of the Concealed Carry Improvement Act — which includes registered firearm bans in “sensitive zones” like Times Square — while the state is fighting gun advocates in court over the law’s constitutionality.

“The safety of New Yorkers is my top priority,” Gov. Kathy Hochul said. “I am pleased that this Supreme Court decision will allow us to continue enforcing the gun laws that we have put in place for this purpose. We believe these thoughtful, common-sense rules will help prevent gun violence, and we will continue to work with the New York City Attorney’s Office to protect the laws.”

“We have the right to take reasonable steps to protect our communities, and I am pleased with the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the New York Concealed Carry Gun Act,” said Attorney General Letitia James. “Too many New Yorkers are plagued by gun violence, and we know basic gun laws help save lives every day. My office will continue to use any means at our disposal to protect New Yorkers and defend our responsible gun laws.”

The Concealed Carry Improvement Act followed that of the Supreme Court Brno Decision last summer that declared unconstitutional the more than a century old New York City Concealed Carry Gun Licensing Requirements. In addition to new restrictions and screening measures for purchasing a gun, the new law also bans firearms in “sensitive zones”.

In October, Mayor Eric Adams signed a bill designating Times Square as such a zone. He cited concerns that if concealed-carrying guns were allowed, the world-famous tourist hub would be transformed into a cowboy western. Licensed guns or not, a shootout at the ‘Crossroads of the World’ puts pedestrians at risk for collateral damage. In 2021, stray bullets from two separate shootings injured several bystanders in Times Square, including a four-year-old girl.

But according to Prof. Wayne Eller, chair of the Department of Public Administration at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, recorded gun deaths are a nominal problem in New York City because it’s much easier to get hold of an illegal gun. The advent of 3D printing makes the process even easier, cheaper, and harder to understand.

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