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Times Square will gain borders and signs prohibiting the carrying of weapons

Times Square, New York’s main square — and one of the most famous and trendy addresses in the world — will undergo a new delimitation, according to the New York State Government.

Officially, the iconic location will be recognized as a “sensitive zone” from this Thursday (1st), which will prohibit the carrying of weapons in its region. The measure aims to combat gun violence in the US, especially terrorist shootings and mass killings.

As a consequence, the landscape of the square will be, on the one hand, delimited and on the other, slightly modified. Times Square will gain precise contours for the first time in its history thanks to the new law, which indicates where it begins and ends.

And, also according to the legislation, signs will be installed indicating where the area for the free carrying of weapons is located and where it is forbidden to carry them.

The new law has been the instrument the New York State Government has found to minimize urban violence since, in June, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that previous state legislation limiting undercover gun carrying was in breach of the Second Amendment of the United States. Constitution, which gives the American citizen the right to arm himself.

According to the alternative signed by Governor Kathy Hochul, weapons will not be released only in so-called sensitive areas, as is the case of Times Square, which receives about 360,000 pedestrians a day – most of them tourists in love with its lights, colors and spontaneous attractions — according to the local government.

Times Square aerial view

Image: stu99/Getty Images

In addition to the square, other points were defined as sensitive areas: public transport, bars and restaurants that serve alcohol, entertainment houses, polling places, religious centers, educational institutions, day care centers, camps and meeting points for children, playgrounds, parks, zoos, libraries, government buildings, forums, medical centers, shelters and places of protest and public events.

According to the text of the bill passed by the New York City Council, Times Square — now officially — is located between Sixth and Eighth Avenues crossing the west portion of 40th Street to the west portion of 53rd Street and the between Eighth and Ninth Avenues, crossing the western portions of 40th and 48th Streets. It is possible to better see its contours, in two blocks, in the photo above.

The traditional New Year’s Eve in Times Square, between 2019 and 2020

Image: Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images

Provisional signs will be installed as early as this Thursday at the main entry points to Times Square. The permanents are expected to be replaced as soon as the bill is formalized into law, Robert Barrows, executive director of legal operations for the New York Police Department, said in the Time Out New York travel magazine.

They must signal “gun-free areas” and where “citizens with guns may not enter except in situations specified by law.” Violations of the new contours will be considered a crime.

The article is in Portuguese

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