New York State (WRGB) — Big questions about the legality of Governor Kathy Hochul's new anti-gun laws passed right before the 4th of July holiday during a special extraordinary session and we are getting some answers straight from Hochul's office.
The guns laws were passed quickly in response to the U.S. Supreme Court decision that came last month which found New York conceal carry permit holders have the right to carry in public places, overturning a century old state law that limited access.
Congresswoman Elise Stefanik (R- New York) is calling the new laws "unconstitutional". The Governor's Office claims that is not true. We're also hearing from gun owners who are confused about the language.
MORE: NY's concealed carry signage required for businesses is raising concerns
A married couple from Greene County tells CBS 6 Albany they are fielding thousands of inquiries from people, many of whom, believe New York State is infringing on their rights yet again.
It’s a direct challenge to the Supreme Court ruling. It wasn’t done out of logic and reason, it was done out of emotion and they sped it through,” said Richard MacLeod.
Husband and wife Lisa and Richard MacLeod own Recon Defense, a business that sells guns and trains people how to use them in Greene County, New York. Since the state's new restrictive gun laws passed last week, they've been going non-stop.
“We are up to 13,00 hits on this already,” Lisa MacLeod said. “Our phone has not stopped ringing. As far as what does this mean? Everyone is so confused no one knows what to do,” she said.
The July 4th shooting in Highland Park, Illinois comes as Democrats were already pushing for stronger gun safety laws after recent mass shootings in Buffalo, NY and Uvalde, TX.
“As you know I believe in an assault weapons ban, as you know I believe in universal background checks, we need to do more,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D- New York).
MORE: Hochul signs new gun safety bill into law in response to Supreme Court ruling
But New York Republican Congresswoman Elise Stefanik says New York’s new laws are unconstitutional, in a statement she says in part, "..Their most recent gun ban bill immediately classifies tens of thousands of law-abiding gun owners in the Adirondack park as felons...”
The new law classifies “sensitive locations” including parks as restricted areas and outlaws concealed weapons at private businesses unless the business posts a sign saying guns are allowed.
One of the things most concerning things is you can’t pull into a gas station or commercial facility that doesn’t have a pro-2nd amendment sign,” Richard MacLeod said. “Basically it makes travel [with a gun] impossible in the State of New York,” he said.
Tom King, Executive Director the of New York State Rifle and Pistol Association, which brought the case to the Supreme Court in the first place, tells CBS 6 its attorneys are investigating the law right now and that it will most likely be taking legal action.
The MacLeods say the law now requires so much training, getting a permit will cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
“It’s going to put senior citizens and low income people out of the loop,” Lisa MacLeod said.
MORE: State lawmakers back in Albany for a special session called by Governor Hochul
“The fact that our lawmakers passed a lot like this without putting any thought to it that should concern all New Yorkers,” Richard MacLeod said.
The couple is also concerned about how the law will impact domestic violence victims and believe the state should not be able to ban guns from churches.
CBS 6 took their concerns and Rep. Stefanik’s statement to Hochul’s Office.
A spokesperson for Gov. Hochul’s Office replied saying, “Governor Hochul signed landmark gun legislation that carefully regulates concealed carry permits to protect New Yorkers while respecting the Second Amendment rights of lawful gun owners. The new law, which goes into effect September 1 and also includes exemptions for hunting and hunter education programs, changes nothing for lawful gun owners on both Forest Preserve and private lands within the blue line of the Adirondacks and Catskills. These areas are not considered ‘sensitive locations’ under the law, however there will be sensitive locations within these areas, like playgrounds and hospitals, consistent with locations outlined in the law for every other part of the state.”
The spokesperson offered these clarification after we inquired about Stefanik’s statement on how this would impact people in state parks.
The spokesman wrote: