Speed Reads

the empire (state) strikes back

New York lawmakers move to restrict concealed carry and add abortion rights to state constitution

New York lawmakers moved to restrict where concealed firearms can be carried and to enshrine the right to an abortion in the state constitution during an extraordinary legislative session that stretched from Thursday into Friday evening.

"We're not going backwards," Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) said. "They may think they can change our lives with the stroke of a pen, but we have pens, too."

This session came in response to a pair of Supreme Court decisions announced last week. New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. Bruen struck down a New York law requiring applicants to prove that they had a "special need" for a concealed carry permit beyond a general desire for self-defense. Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization overturned Roe v. Wade (1973) and Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992) and returned the issue of abortion to the states.

The New York Times notes that the gun bill — which bans firearms in most public settings and "on private property unless the property owner" says otherwise — was signed on Friday, but legislators were only able to "initiate the process" of adding abortion rights to the state constitution. Lawmakers must now wait until the next general election, pass the amendment again after new legislators are seated, and then present the amendment to voters as a ballot referendum.