As New Yorkers for and against more access to guns debate whether people should be able to carry firearms in public, it can be hard to keep track of where firearms are allowed these days. The subway? Times Square? In church?

A U.S. Supreme Court decision in June makes it easier for people to obtain a permit to carry handguns in New York's public spaces. But the state’s legislators pushed back by passing a new law, called the Concealed Carry Improvement Act, which greatly restricts where even concealed carry permit holders may bring their weapons. That has prompted a flurry of legal challenges from Second Amendment supporters, who have filed at least nine lawsuits since the new legislation passed. One, filed by a prominent conservative, has already been dropped.

Right now, guns are still banned throughout the state in just about all public places — except for places of worship in some circumstances. But as these cases move through the courts, the rules about where people can bring guns and what requirements gun owners must meet to obtain a carry permit remain in constant flux. Gothamist has created a case tracker to keep New Yorkers up to date on where they can expect permit holders to be carrying guns, as well as what requirements still stand for concealed carry permit applications. It will be updated regularly.

Guns on display at the Seneca Sporting Range in Ridgewood Queens.

What are the current requirements to get a concealed carry permit?

  • Demonstrate “good moral character”
  • Complete in-person interview with licensing officer (typically an officer at the applicant’s local police department, sheriff’s office or county court)
  • Provide four character references
  • Provide list of family members and roommates
  • Provide list of all social media accounts used in the past three years
  • Complete 18 hours of in-person training (16 curriculum and two live fire on a gun range)
  • Provide any other information required by the licensing officer that is “reasonably necessary”
Where are guns banned right now?
  • Federal, state and local government buildings
  • Healthcare facilities (including behavioral health and chemical dependency)
  • Libraries, public playgrounds, public parks and zoos
  • Childcare facilities
  • Nursery schools, preschools and summer camps
  • Programs for people with developmental disabilities, addiction and mental illness
  • Homeless shelters, domestic violence shelters, emergency shelters
  • Programs funded by the office of temporary and disability assistance
  • Schools and colleges
  • Public transportation, airports, train stations, bus terminals
  • Places with licenses for alcohol and cannabis consumption
  • Spaces where crowds gather for performances, entertainment, gaming or sports, including theaters, stadiums, conference centers and amusement parks
  • Polling places
  • Public sidewalks or other public areas that have been blocked off for a limited time or special event.
  • Protests
  • Times Square
Where it’s complicated:
  • A judge overseeing one of the cases has blocked enforcement of a ban on guns in these spaces by parties named in the suit while the courts consider the evidence. Since the lawsuit names the State Police, state officers cannot currently arrest you for bringing a gun into a place of worship if you have a concealed carry permit. However, since local law enforcement is not named in the suit, law enforcement officers can still enforce the ban.

John Deloca, the owner of Seneca Sporting Range, shoots at a target

Here are the cases we are following that challenge the Concealed Carry Improvement Act:

Case: Upstate gun owners say lawmakers are undermining the second amendment and the Supreme Court

Title: Antonyuk v. Nigrelli
Date filed: Sept. 20, 2022
Court: U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York
Summary: This lawsuit, brought by multiple upstate gun owners, argues that New York’s new Concealed Carry Improvement Act violates the Second Amendment and the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision to overturn the state’s prior concealed carry law. It describes New York’s gun regulations as an “extreme outlier among the states” that infringe on people’s constitutional right to bear arms. It also criticizes the state for creating a law that is even more restrictive than the one that was in place before the Supreme Court ruling. “This Court’s intervention is therefore necessary, to again make it clear to New York that it is not free to thumb its nose at the text of the Second Amendment, and the opinions of the Supreme Court, and that the Second Amendment is neither a ‘constitutional orphan’ nor a ‘second-class right,’” the plaintiffs’ attorney wrote in their lawsuit.
Status: A Syracuse judge has struck down parts of the law in response to this lawsuit multiple times, only to be reversed by higher courts. Judge Glenn T. Suddaby most recently blocked much of the law the night before Election Day. But a panel of judges has since prevented his ruling from taking effect, at least temporarily, while the state appeals his decision.

Case: Churchgoers argue that banning guns in places of worship prevents them from exercising their right to self defense

Title: Bleur v. Nigrelli
Date filed: Oct. 4, 2022
Court: U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York
Summary: This lawsuit argues that church members, staff and pastors are “uniquely singled out” by the state’s new concealed carry law, which bars most permit holders from bringing guns to church (with a few exceptions for law enforcement and active-duty military). The plaintiffs note the prevalence of religiously motivated hate crimes, and argue that the state’s decision to make places of worship “sensitive” locations where guns are banned stops church-goers from exercising their right to self-defense. Unlike other lawsuits challenging the entirety of the law, the plaintiffs in this case only want the court to strike down the portion that applies to places of worship.
Status: A judge has asked the plaintiffs to file an updated complaint, due to issues in the original lawsuit.

Case: Two upstate gun owners seek the right to bring firearms to public parks, and on public transit.

Title: Christian v. Nigrelli
Date filed: Sept. 13, 2022
Court: U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York
Summary: This lawsuit calls the state’s new concealed carry law “draconian” and a “mockery” of the Supreme Court decision that struck down the old law. It argues that New York is denying millions of residents “their fundamental, individual right to bear loaded, operable handguns outside home.” The Erie County gun owners in this case both have concealed carry licenses already. One wants to be able to bring a weapon with him when he walks his dog in a park near his home and when he rides public transit or goes to dinner in downtown Buffalo. The other wants to take his gun on hikes, as well as on public transportation and during visits downtown. They’re asking the courts to strike down portions of the law that ban permit holders from carrying guns in public parks and on public transit.
Status: The plaintiffs and the state have both been filing paperwork in an effort to block the state restrictions while the case makes its way through the courts.

Case: A Brooklyn man is challenging three of the new requirements for a concealed carry license

Title: Corbett v. Hochul
Date filed: July 11, 2022
Court: U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
Summary: In this case, a Brooklyn resident who has spent hundreds of dollars, completed a 14-page application and submitted multiple other records to obtain a concealed carry license was allegedly told he would have to wait about nine months for an officer to review his application, with no guarantee that it would be approved. Corbett’s lawsuit challenges three requirements for the application process that he considers to be especially cumbersome: a list of current and former social media accounts from the past three years, names and contact information for four character references and 18 hours of training. He argues that those three rules violate his right to privacy and his right to keep and bear arms and is asking the court to strike them down.
Status: There will be a hearing on November 29 for the plaintiffs to argue that the courts should temporarily block the law while the case is pending.

Case: A group of people who have applied for concealed carry permits in Suffolk County, Long Island say the police department’s licensing bureau is dysfunctional, and permitting rules are unduly arduous.

Title: Giambalvo v. Suffolk County
Date filed: Aug. 15, 2022
Court: U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York
Summary: This lawsuit calls Suffolk County’s handgun permit application process “crushing” and accuses officials of purposely trying to stop citizens from owning and carrying firearms. It focuses largely on the local police department’s licensing bureau, which the plaintiffs argue has failed to properly train, supervise and discipline its staff, and the lengthy period of time that it takes for the department to grant permits. The suit argues that the state’s new regulations are unconstitutional, and that the Suffolk County Police Department has gone even further than those requirements — including a local policy that bans unlicensed people from taking live fire training, even though state law now requires people to attend such trainings in order to obtain a concealed carry permit. The plaintiffs are asking the courts to block several portions of the law, to order licensing officers to speed up the application process and to strike down the policy banning unlicensed people from taking shooting courses.
Status: The plaintiffs in this case have amended their complaint several times, so the proceedings are still in early stages.

Case: Lawsuit brought by two Jewish New Yorkers cites rise in anti-Semitic crime, asserts right to self defense

Title: Goldstein v. Hochul
Date filed: Sept. 29, 2022
Court: U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
Summary: This lawsuit, brought by a synagogue and two Jewish New Yorkers, challenges the state’s new ban on firearms in places of worship, even for most concealed carry permit holders. It cites data from the Anti-Defamation League that found New York experienced a 24% increase of reported antisemitic incidents in 2021 compared to the year prior. It also notes multiple attacks on Jewish places of worship in recent years, including a hostage situation at a Texas synagogue in January 2022, the stabbing of a Hasidic rabbi in Monsey during Hanukkah in 2019 and a mass shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh in 2018. The lawsuit argues that banning guns from places of worship could actually make them more dangerous, because “would-be killers may fairly assume” that “people have been made defenseless.” The plaintiffs worry that they could be targeted because of their Jewish faith and are asking the courts to strike down the law, since it prohibits them from defending themselves in synagogue.
Status: The defendants are waiting for a decision on whether the law will be blocked while the case is pending.

Case: Upstate church leaders cite community violence, shootings at churches as they assert a right to self defense.

Title: Hardaway v. Nigrelli
Date filed: Oct. 13, 2022
Court: U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York
Summary: This is another lawsuit challenging the state’s designation of places of worship as “sensitive” locations where most permit holders cannot bring guns. The plaintiffs are both church leaders who argue the law violates their right to bear arms for self-defense. They argue that their churches are located in neighborhoods with high rates of violence and crime, where they want to be able to protect themselves and their congregants. They also cite shootings at churches across the country, including the 2015 mass shooting at a church in Charleston, South Carolina. The lawsuit argues that there’s no historical precedent for a ban on guns in places and worship and asks the courts to declare the law unconstitutional.
Status: A judge has ruled that the ban on guns in places of worship can be blocked while the case is pending. The state is appealing.

Case: Second amendment supporters argue that the NY law names so many sensitive places it’s unclear whether someone with a permit could carry a gun anywhere.

Title: New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Nigrelli
Date filed: Aug. 31, 2022
Court: U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York
Summary: This lawsuit calls the state’s new requirements to obtain a handgun carry license “burdensome and discriminatory.” It argues that the Concealed Carry Improvement Act “replaces one unconstitutional, discretionary law with another unconstitutional discretionary law.” The plaintiffs — a gun rights group and multiple New Yorkers in different parts of the state who want to carry guns outside of their homes — argue that the law makes it unclear if there’s anywhere in the state that someone with a permit could carry a gun for self-defense, because of its lengthy list of “sensitive” places where firearms are now banned. They also say that the requirements to obtain or renew a license are so onerous it’s deterring them from exercising their Second Amendment rights. The lawsuit asks the court to declare that the law violates the Constitution and shouldn’t be enforced.
Status: The state has asked the courts to dismiss the case.

Case: Pastor who has received death threats says NY law forces people to choose between their First and Second Amendment rights.

Title: Spencer v. Nigrelli
Date filed: Nov. 3, 2022
Court: Court: U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York
Summary: This is another lawsuit challenging the state’s ban on handguns in places of worship. The pastor who brought the suit, whose services are televised, says he is well known and has received at least two death threats. The lawsuit accuses the state of religious discrimination and argues that lawmakers overstepped by trying to dictate how people conduct themselves on church property. It also claims that it forces people to choose between their First and Second Amendment rights. “No other state in the Union has taken the radical step of completely disarming houses of worship and stripping them of their right to decide who may carry firearms on their premises,” the lawsuit states. It asks the courts to strike down that portion of the law.
Status: There will be a hearing on Dec. 22 for the plaintiffs to argue that the courts should temporarily block the law while the case is pending.

This story has been updated to add more details clarifying the current rules in place for public sidewalks ... and places of worship or religious observation.