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Fearing Supreme Court will overturn right-to-carry gun law in New York, Mayor Eric Adams scrambling to get limits in place

CBS New York logo CBS New York 6/6/2022 Marcia Kramer

NEW YORK -- With the Supreme Court poised to overturn all or part of New York's right to carry law, Mayor Eric Adams is devising a plan to get lawmakers to pass federal, state and local laws to limit as much as possible the places where gun owners can bring their weapons.

As CBS2's Marcia Kramer reported Monday, the mayor is trying to get out ahead of a possible ruling that he says is giving him nightmares.

Think about it, the people who now can only bring their weapons to a gun range may soon be able to openly carry them wherever they go. That is, if the high court overturns a state law that has been on the books for 108 years.

They could bring them on the subways, to sports stadiums, banks, schools, churches and synagogues, and all kinds of places.

"This keeps me up at night. If this right-to-carry goes through the Supreme Court, becomes the law of the land, can you imagine being on the 4 train with someone having a 9mm exposed? Everyone on the train is carrying? This is not the wild wild West," Adams said.

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And because the Supreme Court is expected to soon rule on New York's currently restrictive carry laws, Adams is trying to get ahead of the curve. He said he's already reaching out to officials in other cities to help craft a joint response.

"We want to build up a real, a task force across the country -- Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, St. Louis, New York, San Francisco -- all of these places that are dealing with violence. We want to put our legal minds together and come up with some real legislation on the federal level, our state level, and our city levels to get prepared for this," Adams said.

The response will depend on the nuances of the ruling. New York officials are hoping the court allows exceptions for so-called "sensitive places." That would allow the state Legislature or the City Council to pass laws preventing people from bringing weapons into businesses, schools, mass transit, and even Times Square. Signs like "No loaded guns" in Arizona and "No weapons allowed" from New Hampshire could pop up here.

"People hear of this right to carry. They should focus on it," Adams said.

The issue came up during a news conference on gang violence and the steps the city is taking to deal with the expected summer increase in bloodshed.

Adams said, as usual, he is putting officers assigned to desk duty back on the street, adding the NYPD will also beef up subway security.

Gov. Kathy Hochul will have to call a special session of the Legislature for any state changes.

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