A New York city ordinance that would require all people to obtain a health certificate before they can carry a concealed weapon will go into full effect Thursday.
The new law, passed by a wide margin and expected to be signed by Gov.
Andrew Cuomo in coming days, would ban most weapons, including pistols and rifles, but allow those with valid permits to carry a small concealed handgun without a certificate.
The New York Police Department said the new law will be in place starting March 17.
The city is the first in the country to enact such a law, which was championed by the National Rifle Association and has been supported by gun rights groups, Democratic lawmakers and gun control groups.
The gun rights group Everytown for Gun Safety has urged New Yorkers to be vigilant and avoid carrying guns in public.
New York’s ordinance was backed by a coalition of organizations including the New York Civil Liberties Union, the Second Amendment Foundation and the Campaign for Concealed Carry.
The ordinance will also include an exemption for certain felons who do not qualify for a permit but who have not violated any gun control laws, the NYCLU said in a statement.
It’s a good idea, but not a requirement, said John Feinblatt, the executive director of the New Yorkers for Conceal Carry, an organization founded in New York to promote gun rights.
It doesn’t mean that a person can’t carry a firearm in public, Feinblat said.
“It doesn’t change the fact that you can carry it without a permit.”
Cuomo is expected to sign the new ordinance Thursday.
“New York City and New York will continue to enforce the law, while continuing to make sure that every New Yorker has a right to keep and bear arms,” said spokesman Patrick Lynch.
Cuomo said the city’s goal is to protect the public from a violent act.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.