ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Starting in September, new gun laws will go into effect that prohibit those with concealed carry permits from being armed in sensitive locations, while strengthening the process to obtain a permit.  

These bills were signed by Governor Kathy Hochul Friday night to wrap up the extraordinary session and will go into effect on September 1. The law outlaws gun owners from carrying in many public places and on most government property. Gun owners will also have to attend training courses to qualify for a permit.  

Michele Floyd of Rise Up Rochester knows firsthand what gun violence can do to a family. In the past three years, she lost her son, nephew, and niece in shootings. She applauds the governor for adding these laws to the books.  

“If you’re a concealed gun carrier, why would you want to go into a school?” Floyd asked. “Why would you want to go into a grocery store? Why do you have to go into a park or anywhere children are displaying a gun? It doesn’t make any sense to me.” 

The new law prohibits those with concealed carry permits from being armed in parks, public transit, medical and educational facilities, places of worship, and all government buildings. The law also adds more eyes to every applicant’s character. Members of the Rochester Chapter of Mom’s Demand Action believe this law can save lives.  

“Some reference to the individual’s social media accounts, to assess their moral character,” Deborah Antoniades said. “They will have to provide four references and information on their domestic partner, again, this will all keep families safe.” 

The new law also requires applicants to complete training courses set by the state, including live-fire testing, and then go through a renewal process every three years. Those, like Antonia Wynter of Rochester, worry these policies overlook the root causes of gun violence in Rochester and ignore how criminals get guns.  

“The people that are offending and committing the crimes don’t have pistol permits,” said Wynter. “They’re obtaining guns illegally and one of the things we do is crack down on private store owners perpetuating some of those illegal gun sales. Maybe that’s something to shift the focus to.”  

The laws received support from all local Democratic lawmakers, but opposing Republicans fear the new permit process will back up the court systems. 

“Just in the county I live in, there are 10,000 pistol permit holders and we only have two county court judges,” Assemble Member Marjorie Byrnes. “Our licensing authority are our two county court judges.” 

The purchase of gun ammunition also requires background checks. Those who were convicted of drug or alcohol-related crimes don’t qualify for concealed carry permits.  

Another law strengthened in this session was the law that bans the sale of hard-plate bulletproof vests, such as the type of vest the Buffalo shooter used. However, people can ask for exceptions, if it’s necessary for their job.