Pizza shop owner concerned new gun laws make businesses unwanted targets

HAMBURG N.Y. (WIVB) — Under the state’s new gun law, privately owned businesses now have to post on their property if legal firearms are allowed. News 4 talked to a local pizza shop owner, who’s concerned this could make his business an unwanted target.

“People who are carrying guns have to right to carry guns where they want to carry guns,” said Michael, who owns a pizzeria in Hamburg. “I just think if you carry a gun, you should be able to bring it anywhere you want and not have to look for a sign even, but I will put one up in my business.”

He told News 4 he is worried that being vocal about this will bring negative attention.

“There’s a lot of people who are against it, especially things that have happened recently, which are terrible situations that have happened, terrible things,” he said. “A few people make it look bad for everybody.”

State Senator George Borrello said the new laws put business owners in a tough position.

“This is ridiculous, and again, it puts business owners in the uncomfortable position of having to put up a sign that’s completely unnecessary,” he said. “I’m a business owner in a so-called sensitive area, places with liquor licenses, but yes, business owners do not want to be put in this position. Why would you have to put a sign telling someone that they can do something they are already lawfully allowed to do?”

With the state’s new gun laws, people are not allowed to bring their guns into what are considered sensitive areas. That includes on public transportation, in houses of worship, schools, and restaurants that serve alcohol, as well as entertainment venues, daycares and all government buildings.

“Every law is always open to scrutiny and taking a look at it, to see if it’s working in the right way that it was intended,” said State Senator Tim Kennedy, who voted yes on the state’s gun laws. “This legislation is intended to protect the public from those that may want to do harm with a gun, with a firearm of some sort.”

If someone is found in possession of a firearm in a sensitive location, it is a Class E felony.

Sarah Minkewicz is an Emmy-nominated reporter from Buffalo, N.Y. who has been part of the News 4 team since 2019. See more of her work here and follow her on Twitter.

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