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Jewish groups in New York are concerned that the Empire Stateâs new ban on firearms in “sensitive places” will put congregants at risk.
Tzvi Waldman, the founder of the New York State Jewish Gun Club, told News 12 that the provision in the stateâs pistol permit law “is going to create more disaster,” adding, “We should be able to protect ourselves.”
The law was passed by the state legislature in July in response to a June decision by the US Supreme Court that struck down a law regulating gun ownership in the state. The new law went into effect last week and is drawing multiple legal challenges, with opponents arguing it puts too many restrictions on where people have a right to carry guns.
Waldman’s club has retained a civil rights attorney and is among those challenging the law. He says synagogues should be able to let licensed civilians carry firearms in case of an attack. He told the outlet, “The average Orthodox Jew spends up to 20 hours a week in shul (synagogue). So, for us, not being able to be protected in shul means more than the average person who goes to church once a week.”
In New York and surrounding states, there have been multiple attacks on Jewish institutions in the past few years. In 2018, 11 people were killed in a shooting inside a Pittsburgh synagogue shooting and in 2019, one person was killed and four others were injured during a stabbing attack at the home of a Monsey rabbi during a Hanukkah party.
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