Federal Judge Blocks Parts of New York’s Restrictive New Gun Law

by J Pelkey
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The new state law banning possession of concealed firearms in Times Square by licensed permit holders “does not appear permissible” and shouldn’t be enforced by the NYPD, a federal judge ruled Thursday.

US District Judge Glenn Suddaby, a George W. Bush appointee, said key provisions in Hochul’s new law limiting concealed carry of firearms in “sensitive” locations are unconstitutional.

The 53-page decision also struck down several other provisions of the “Concealed Carry Improvement Act” enacted by Gov. Kathy Hochul in response to the Supreme Court’s landmark July ruling that overturned a 1913 state gun-control law.

Prior to the Supreme Court’s ruling, the state could decide who it wanted to have this right and who it didn’t.

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In his decision, Suddaby said, “Based on the historical analogues located thus far, it does not appear permissible for New York State to restrict concealed carry” in Times Square.

His order blocked provisions of the law that gave new requirements for background checks for gun permits, which include handing over social media accounts. One of those provisions he blocked includes the requirement that a license applicant has to provide evidence to show they have “good moral character,” according to the ruling.

The law’s statewide ban on carrying firearms carried in some public and private properties was also blocked in Thursday’s ruling.

The judge gave New York “three days to seek emergency relief before a federal appeals court,” AP reported.

AP reported:

A federal judge halted key provisions Thursday of New York’s latest attempt to restrict who can carry a handgun in public and where firearms can be brought, saying multiple parts of a law the state passed this year are unconstitutional.

U.S. District Judge Glenn Suddaby focused on multiple parts of the law, saying licensing requirements — like a rule requiring applicants to turn over information about their social media accounts — went too far.

“Simply stated, instead of moving toward becoming a shall-issue jurisdiction, New York State has further entrenched itself as a shall-not-issue jurisdiction. And, by doing so, it has further reduced a first-class constitutional right to bear arms in public for self defense … into a mere request,” wrote Suddaby, who sits in Syracuse.

The ruling would keep restrictions in place that bar firearms from being carried into schools, government buildings and places of worship, but the judge said the state couldn’t ban guns from other sensitive locations, such as Times Square.

Several weeks ago, Suddaby ruled that much of the newly enacted law was unconstitutional in dismissing an earlier lawsuit by Gun Owners of America. But he found neither the group nor an individual member of it had standing to file a lawsuit before New York’s law came into effect.

Other than the Gun Owners of America suit, several lawsuits challenging the new law have been filed.

Earlier this month, several dozen churches in upstate New York filed a lawsuit to challenge the law’s provision to ban guns in houses of worship. This week, a Jewish gun club sued Hochul to carry firearms into synagogues, quoting a line from the Torah.

“This law specifically targets religious people, by threatening them with arrest and felony prosecution if they carry their firearms while engaging in religious observance,” the club wrote.

An orthodox Jewish man who started the club, Tzvi Waldman, told the Jewish Chronicle that he is “pretty confident in this case. People are concerned. This is a constitutional right and it’s extremely important to us.”

The National Rifle Association (NRA), which is not a plaintiff in the Gun Owners of America case, sharply criticized the bill after its proposal.

“Gov. Hochul and her anti-Second Amendment allies in Albany have defied the United States Supreme Court with an intentionally malicious rewriting of New York’s concealed carry law,” Darin Hoens, the New York NRA state director, said in a statement in July.

New York was among about a half-dozen states that had gun provisions invalidated by the Supreme Court’s ruling.

“The law seems another overreach by the state,” George Washington University Law School professor Jonathan Turley wrote in July after New York’s new gun bill was proposed. “New York has thus far been about as effective in curtailing gun rights as Monty Python’s ‘Judean People’s Front Crack Suicide Squad’ was effective in combating Roman occupation.”

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