Includes bill officially designating geographic boundaries of Times Square as ‘sensitive area’ by law
City Hall, NY – Today, the Council approved two bills to address gun violence, as well as legislation to support expanded language access at abortion providers and prevent opioid overdoses at bars and clubs. Introduction 602-A, sponsored by Speaker Adrienne Adams, defines the geographical boundaries of the Times Square area – now classified by State law as a “sensitive area” where licensed individuals are restricted from carrying concealed weapons. The New York State Legislature recently amended statewide firearm regulations to establish schools, government buildings, places or vehicles used for public transport, religious institutions, and Times Square as such areas. It permitted the City to determine and identify the exact location. The law became necessary after the United States Supreme Court struck down the New York State law that place strict restrictions on who could carry concealed firearms. The boundaries, as defined by the bill, largely follow the area identified as Times Square by the official NYC Tourism website. It covers the area bounded by W. 40th Street to W. 53rd Street and Sixth Avenue to Eighth Avenue; and parts of Ninth Avenue and the Port Authority Bus Terminal are included, which include several well-known restaurants, hotels and theaters.
“As soon as the Supreme Court issued its opinion in Bruen v. New York State Rifle and Pistol Association, I called on our partners in the State Legislature to enact legislation that would limit the locations where a person can carry a weapon, including in the Times Square area,” said Speaker Adrienne Adams. “The State acted swiftly and responsibly, convening a special session a week later to directly address this issue. This legislation will help to prevent increased gun violence in our city, as we protect Times Square – the “Crossroads of the World.”
Introduction 518-A, sponsored by Council Member Shaun Abreu, requires the Mayor’s Office for Criminal Justice (MOCJ) and the New York City Police Department (NYPD) to conduct a study on reducing the flow of illegal firearms into the city and submit an annual report to the Speaker and Mayor. This report will include information regarding each illegal firearm seized in New York City. More particularly, the report will include: (i) whether the firearm was connected to a crime; (ii) where the firearm originated; (iii) the date the firearm was seized or surrendered and the date the firearm was last sold legally; (iv) the location of the fire seizure; (v) the type of firearm; (vi) the manufacturer or importer of the firearm; (vii) whether the firearm was a ghost gun or a firearm created using a three-dimensional printer; (viii) the dealer of the firearm and whether such dealer was licensed; and (ix) whether the firearm was registered in any registry, including the national firearms registration and transfer record.
“From Buffalo, NY to Uvalde, TX to shootings in NYC, recent headlines have highlighted the pervasive and brutal nature of gun violence. We have worked hard to ensure that the laws of New York limit the sale and purchase of dangerous weapons in our state. However, these critical protections have not stopped dangerous, out-of-state guns from infiltrating our communities and ruining countless lives. Today’s bill targets the source of the weapons that end up in our city illegally and promotes cooperation between states to stop these guns at ports of entry,” said Council Member Shaun Abreu. “By marching, holding hearings, hosting press conferences, meeting with advocates, and discussing with key stakeholders, we created a high-impact bill that has widespread political and community support. We are particularly grateful to Moms Demand Action and Everytown for Gun Safety for advising on this legislation. While Republicans continue to tear down common-sense gun safety provisions, New York City is sending a strong message to the entire country that we won’t let partisan politics get in the way of strong public safety measures. We are proud to see our legislation pass today and know that these steps, along with a focus on youth programming, mental health support, and environmental design, are key to developing a city-wide strategy to meaningfully and permanently restrict the flow of dangerous weapons into our communities.”
Introduction 458-A, sponsored by Speaker Adams, would require the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) to create resources in all designated citywide languages for a potential patient of an abortion provider. The bill would also require DOHMH to survey abortion providers in the city to assess the availability of language access services for abortion, the demand for such services, and any challenges for implementation. DOHMH would be required to report its findings to the Speaker and the Mayor with recommendations, including any role the City can play in assisting abortion providers with language access services, and the feasibility of providing a City grant program.
“Language access is critical and a priority of this Council, and nowhere is that more important than in health care,” said Speaker Adams. “I am proud to support expanded language access services for abortion providers, and this Council will continue working to make abortion and all essential health care services accessible in New York City.”
Introduction 56-A, sponsored by Council Member Chi Ossé, would require DOHMH to create a Nightlife Opioid Antagonist Program to help prevent opioid overdoses in nightlife establishments. The program would permit nightlife establishments in the City to request and retain opioid antagonists (like Narcan) on premises, free of charge, for administration to patrons, staff or individuals experiencing an opioid overdose. This bill would also require DOHMH to offer free resources and training to staff of participating nightlife establishments on the administration of opioid antagonists.
“This is an overdue measure that will, simply, save lives,” said Council Member Chi Ossé. “Each overdose death is a preventable tragedy; we do not accept them here in New York City. I am proud to partner with Council Member Powers in this necessary bill and thrilled to see it become law. New York City became safer today.”
1859 Strang Avenue – Strang Avenue LLC requests approval for a zoning map amendment to change the project area which is zoned R4 and R4-1 to contain a C2-3 commercial overlay. These actions will facilitate the construction of a new single-story commercial retail development and include 12 accessory parking spaces, in Council Member Kevin Riley’s district
Halletts North Rezoning – Astoria Owners LLC seeks a zoning map amendment from M1-1 to R7-3/ C2-4 and related zoning text amendments, waterfront authorizations, and a city map amendment to facilitate a new mixed-use development on the waterfront of the Halletts Point peninsula in northwest Queens. It will include a projected 1,340 housing units, 335 permanently affordable units under Mandatory Inclusionary Housing (MIH), 525 parking spaces, 525 bicycle spaces, 1,800 square feet of commercial use, 21,500 square feet of community facility space and approximately one acre of open space, including a waterfront esplanade. The Council is modifying the application to map MIH Option 3 (the “Deep Affordability” option) and to amend the site plan to restore the pedestrian walkway to its regulation width of 10 feet, in Council Member Tiffany Cabán’s district.
- A pre-considered resolution that approves an exemption from real property taxes for property located at 3300 Palmer Avenue in the Bronx in Council Member Kevin Riley’s district. The project consists of 2 buildings with 135 units. The tax exemption will replace a soon-to-expire 421-A exemption and will keep all units rent restricted for 40 years. The AMIs will range from 75% to 100%.
- A preconsidered resolution that approves an exemption from real property taxes for property located at 1700 Harrison Avenue in the Bronx in Council Member Piereina Sanchez’s district. The project consists of 1 building with 79 units. Currently less than half the units are rent restricted and with this tax exemption all of them will be. The AMIs will range from 50% to 80%.
- And another preconsidered resolution that approves an exemption from real property taxes for an affiliated property located at 1730 Harrison Avenue in the Bronx in Council Member Sanchez’s district. The project consists of 1 building with 77 units. Less than half the units in this building are currently rent restricted and with this tax exemption all of them will be. The AMIs will similarly range from 50% to 80%.
- Sarah Carroll, for re-appointment as Chair of the Landmarks Preservation Commission
- Gail Benjamin, for appointment as a member of the New York City Planning Commission
- Anthony Crowell, for appointment as a member of the New York City Planning Commission
- Milton Williams, for appointment as a member of the Conflict of Interests Board
- Elisa Velazquez, for appointment as a member of the New York City Taxi & Limousine Commission
- Technical correction related to Rasmia Kirmani-Frye’s appointment as a member of the New York City Planning Commission