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New York’s Punitive New Gun Control Laws Will Punish Camp Kids, Endanger Hikers


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The [Bruen] ruling by the court’s conservative majority appalled Democratic leaders across the country who said it would lead to more gun violence.

In response, New York lawmakers scrapped the parts of its gun-license laws the court found unconstitutional and created a long list of “sensitive locations” and “restricted locations” that turn many places into gun-free zones, including big chunks of the Adirondacks.

Having any kind of firearm in these places will be a felony crime after Sept. 1. California, New Jersey and other states are watching closely as they draft similar plans. Powerful gun-owners’ rights groups see any infringements on Americans’ most newly affirmed right as targets for lawsuits. 

“It pretty much means I’ve got to leave the firearm at home,” said Rick Bennett, who sells guns and fishing tackle from his store in the hamlet of North Creek.

The Supreme Court ruling had allowed for gun bans in limited sensitive areas, such as schools or courthouses. The New York law went much further, adding hospitals, bars, concert venues, and also parks. Bennett’s house is in the middle of the largest park in the contiguous United States: Adirondack Park, a mountain range covering a fifth of the state’s landmass. It is larger than several U.S. states, and home to 130,000 people and countless bobcats, beavers, muskrats and cottontail rabbits. Bears patrol the hiking trails.

People who run summer camps, which in themselves are a new sensitive location, wonder if popular riflery courses for children are now a crime. Up at Mount Van Hoevenberg, a former Winter Olympics venue inside the park, it is unclear how the annual biathlon, a sport mixing skiing with target shooting, can proceed. It will be a felony to have a gun at sports venues.

Jeffrey Dinowitz, a Democratic assembly member from the Bronx in New York City, said the bill he co-sponsored was a reasonable response to what he called a wrongly decided opinion by “highly politicized, right-wing justices.”

— Jonathan Allen in New York gun bans alarm residents of upstate bear country

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