NYC Council pushing to expand ‘sensitive locations’ after SCOTUS gun ruling

The New York City Council plans to press state lawmakers to dramatically expand the state’s current list of “sensitive locations” where guns can be banned after a Supreme Court ruling Thursday left it as one of the few avenues available to restrict handguns in the Big Apple.

City lawmakers are pinning their hopes on a two-page opinion authored by Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Brett Kavanaugh that appears to limit aspects of the court’s stunning but expected 6-3 ruling that struck down a century-old state law that dramatically limited who could have a handgun permit.

Council Speaker Adrienne Adams said she plans to pass a non-binding resolution that would call on Albany to ban guns from all government buildings, schools, hospitals, places of worship, parks, daycares and cemeteries and other facilities — and establish a 1,000 foot buffer around those places where guns would also be banned.

“We are formally and proactively presenting this idea to the state legislature because the threat to New York City is so very serious,” said Speaker Adrienne Adams.

New York City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams plans to pass a non-binding resolution calling Albany to ban guns from a slew of facilities.
AP/Mary Altaffer

“We’re urging the state to ensure that as many places where children and vulnerable populations are present, including the subway, be designated as sensitive areas,” she added.

Additionally, she said she hoped state lawmakers would consider making population density a criteria for establishing a ‘sensitive location,’ which would effectively ban the carrying of handguns in most of New York City.

The majority on the Supreme Court seemed to warn away from such an approach, but Adams said she was hopeful lawyers could craft a workaround.

The Supreme Court struck down a century-old state law that dramatically limited who could have a handgun permit.
ED JONES/AFP via Getty Images

“It’s still something that we’re hammering out right now,” she said.

But when asked if the goal of the buffer zones and density requirements would be to again effective ban widespread handgun ownership in the five boroughs, “an effective citywide gun ban blanket,” Adams says that it was.

“That’s the hope, that’s the goal,” she said.