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Times Square Is Now a Gun-Free Zone


New York City lawmakers have officially designated Times Square as a gun-free zone.

New York State Governor, Kathy Hochul, signed the law in July. Legislators proposed the newest policy in response to a Supreme Court ruling that struck down a centuries-old law that restricted concealed carry within the state.

While officials are still deciding which areas of Manhattan will be considered part of Times Square, the law also prohibits bringing guns into government-owned buildings, schools, health care facilities, places of worship and public transportation, according to CNN.

The law introduces stricter licensing processes to receive concealed carry permits, as well as mandatory background checks during the sale of ammunition. Gun owners will also be legally required to store firearms in safes if children under the age of 18 reside in the home. Safes were already required for homes with minors under age 16.

"Gun-free zone" signs have since been placed in Times Square at every entry and exit point. The city also plans to implement video message boards in certain areas to clarify where firearms are not permitted.

Gun violence has gone up in New York City since the start of the year, with an April mass shooting in Brooklyn injuring 29 people. According to NYPD data, major crimes are up 30 percent in comparison to last year, when they had previously been decreasing for the past three decades.

The new "gun free zones" are part of Mayor Eric Adams' plan to curtail firearm violence. Other steps of his plan include increased policing in areas with high crime rates, primarily neighborhoods with higher populations of people of color.

Adams' plan also includes the creation a plainclothes units to patrol streets, despite the previous NYPD decision to minimize the presence of plainclothes units after finding them "outdated and ineffective" in preventing crime.

The newest gun law is the first legislation to come from Adams' plan. New York officials are hoping direct restrictions will be more effective in obstructing firearm violence.

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