Which Parts of Times Square Will Be 'Gun Free Zones?" NY's City Council Is Trying to Figure That Out

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Robert Barrows of the New York City Police Department holds up a “gun-free zone” sign during a City Council meeting Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2022
Robert Barrows of the New York City Police Department holds up a “gun-free zone” sign during a City Council meeting Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2022

It seems surreal that New York City’s Time Square will actually allow people in the area to actively carry firearms, but the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down a 100-year-old concealed carry law has made this possible. In response, New York Governor Kathy Hochul in July signed a law limiting where firearms can legally be carried in public. The law, which declares Times Square a sensitive zone, goes into effect on Thursday. Now members of the New York City council are trying to figure out which parts of the famous tourist area should be considered “gun-free zones.”

As of Thursday, if you live or work in Times Square and have a license, you can still carry a gun. But in the sensitive zone, you need to have it in a lockbox, whether walking or driving. Anyone who doesn’t abide by these rules faces a class E felony. The sensitive zone boundaries are said to extend from Sixth Avenue to Eighth Avenue and from West 40th Street to West 53rd Street.

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Gun advocates will likely challenge these restrictions as they believe they are too limiting. One problem some New York City council members have pointed out is that not enough people know about Hochul’s new law. To help, the NYPD will post signs showing pedestrians which parts of Times Square are gun free as soon as today, with additional electronic signs on the way.

From ABC 7:

“For Times Square specifically, the law requires signage in the designated zone, it is clear and conspicuous,” said Robert Barrows, Executive Director, NYPD Legal Operations and Projects. “I do have a copy of the signage, what that will look like. The signage will be placed at every entry point in the zone. There will be two signs on each side.

This will be temporary, more permanent signage will be installed, if as expected, this bill becomes law; that is another opportunity I think to educate our officers as well because precinct personnel and Manhattan south personnel will start installing these signs by September 1.”

These efforts come as New York seeks different ways to crack down on gun violence and put limits on gun manufacturers.