We’ve got more big news out of the federal courts this week. And it might give you a bit of deja vu.
A federal judge has blocked the most controversial parts of New York’s latest gun-carry law. It’s the same judge who initially tossed a challenge to the law, allowing it to go into effect. Now that the plaintiffs have cleaned up their case in line with the advice the judge gave them, he issued a temporary restraining order against the most-discussed parts of the law.
Contributing Writer Jake Fogleman examines what the ruling’s impact will be in the near term, especially since it has been stayed pending an appeal. He also looks at the politics of Texas officials deciding to challenge a major federal pro-gun ruling.
Another federal judge tossed Mexico’s suit against American gun makers. He ruled the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act shields gun makes from the arguments Mexico made, despite their similarity to ones invoked in a recent settlement between Remington’s insurers and Sandy Hook families.
Not to be outdone, the Supreme Court made its own waves in gun litigation. They granted, vacated, and remanded a case out of Massachusetts over a misdemeanor-based gun ban. That expands the area of gun law the Court has actively sought further litigation on after its major Bruen ruling in June.
The state courts got into the action as well. A Pennsylvania judge blocked Philadelphia’s attempt to ban guns in parks. He found that wasn’t compatible with the state’s preemption law.
With the election quickly approaching, we take a look at how the nation’s leading gun-control group is advertising in one of the key swing-state Senate races. It’s probably not what you’d expect.
Plus, Jake Fogleman and I answer questions from members on this week’s podcast episode!
Federal Judge Blocks Latest New York Gun-Carry Restrictions
By Stephen Gutowski
New York’s attempt to restrict gun carry after its previous law was struck down by the Supreme Court has failed.
Federal district judge Glenn Suddaby issued a temporary restraining order against the state’s enforcement of most provisions in the Concealed Carry Improvement Act (CCIA). He found all of the novel policies restricting gun carry by those with valid permits were unconstitutional under the standard set in New York State Pistol and Rifle Association v. Bruen, though he also upheld some more common regulations.
“Simply stated, instead of moving toward becoming a shall-issue jurisdiction, New York State has further entrenched itself as a shall-not-issue jurisdiction,” Suddaby wrote. “And, by doing so, it has further reduced a first-class constitutional right to bear arms in public for self-defense (which, during the 19th and 18th centuries in America, generally came with an assumption that law-abiding responsible citizens were not a danger to themselves or others unless there was specific ground for a contrary finding) into a mere request (which is burdened with a presumption of dangerousness and the need to show ‘good moral character’).”
It looks like the second time is the charm for gun-rights advocates challenging New York’s gun-carry regime in court.
After failing to block the law before it took effect, gun-rights advocates obtained a temporary restraining order against major portions of New York’s new Concealed Carry Improvement Act (CCIA) on Thursday.
“Simply stated, instead of moving toward becoming a shall-issue jurisdiction, New York State has further entrenched itself as a shall-not-issue jurisdiction,” U.S. District Court Judge Glenn Suddaby wrote in his opinion. “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.”
It’s a significant legal win, but what does it mean in practical terms?
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The Supreme Court has identified a fifth case that needs to be reheard in light of its recent landmark gun ruling.
This one comes out of Massachusetts and challenges a state law barring those convicted of certain misdemeanors, even non-violent ones, from ever buying guns again. In Morin v. Lyver, a First Circuit panel used a two-step test to find the state’s refusal to issue either gun carry or pistol purchase permits to people convicted of gun-related misdemeanors was consistent with the Second Amendment. On Monday, the Supreme Court granted an appeal of the decision, vacated the previous ruling, and sent it back down to be reheard under its new standard for gun cases.
“The petition for a writ of certiorari is granted,” the court said in its order list. “The judgment is vacated, and the case is remanded to the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit for further consideration in light of New York State Rifle & Pistol Assn., Inc. v. Bruen.”
Federal Court Tosses Mexico’s Suit Against U.S. Gun Makers
By Jake Fogleman
U.S. gun manufacturers and wholesalers cannot be held liable for criminal gun trafficking into Mexico.
That’s according to a Massachusetts federal court judge who dismissed the Mexican government’s suit against Smith & Wesson, Sturm Ruger & Co, Glock, Inc., and others late Friday. In his dismissal order, U.S. District Judge F. Dennis Saylor said the federal Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) shielded the companies from liability for the harms alleged by Mexico.
“Unfortunately for the government of Mexico, all of its claims are either barred by federal law or fail for other reasons,” Saylor wrote in his opinion. “The PLCAA unequivocally bars lawsuits seeking to hold gun manufacturers responsible for the acts of individuals using guns for their intended purpose. And while the statute contains several narrow exceptions, none are applicable here.”
Philly Judge Blocks New Gun Free Zones
By Stephen Gutowski
A Pennsylvania judge has blocked Philadelphia’s latest attempt to institute its own gun restrictions.
Judge Joshua H. Roberts of the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas issued a permanent injunction against Mayor Jim Kenney’s (D.) executive order banning guns from Philadelphia parks and rec facilities on Monday. The court permanently enjoined the city against enforcing the mayor’s directive.
The ruling represents another setback for the city’s repeated attempts to enact stricter gun laws than the state has imposed. For years it has run headlong into the state’s preemption law, which says localities can not pass gun restrictions beyond what the state has adopted. It also represents another defeat for gun-control advocates who have attempted to pierce the veil of protection afforded by preemption laws across the country.
Top Gun-Control Group Leads with Abortion in Swing-State Ad Buy
By Jake Fogleman
The largest gun-control group in the country just launched an ad in Georgia where its top priority takes a back seat.
Everytown for Gun Safety’s super PAC kicked off a new $1.4 million media campaign in Georgia with an attack ad against Republican Senate candidate Herschel Walker. Despite the group’s core mission of gun control, the ad dedicates as much time to the issue of abortion as it does to guns.
“Just how extreme is Herschel Walker?” the ad begins. “He opposes a woman’s right to make her own health decisions. He wants to ban abortion even in cases of rape or incest or to save a mother’s life.”
Podcast: We Answer Your Gun Questions
By Stephen Gutowski
Contributing Writer Jake Fogleman and I did our best to provide some keen insight into the biggest gun stories of the day. We talked about the status of challenges to ‘assault weapon’ bans in the wake of Bruen, the latest with the ATF’s rulemaking, how to properly assess public polling, the status of the NRA, and the fight over gun financing.
We get into all of that and more.
You can listen to the show on your favorite podcasting app or by clicking here. You can also watch the show on our YouTube channel. Members get early access to the show on Sunday (as well as the opportunity to ask questions or appear on the show), and it goes public for everyone else on Monday.
In a new twist, some Republican officials have started to push back against the Supreme Court’s landscape-shifting decision in New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. Bruen.
In August, a federal district court found that the state of Texas could not restrict law-abiding adults under 21 from carrying a firearm for self-defense under the text-and-tradition standard set in Bruen.
“Based on the Second Amendment’s text, as informed by Founding-Era history and tradition, the Court concludes that the Second Amendment protects against this prohibition,” Judge Mark Pittman wrote in his August order. “Texas’s statutory scheme must therefore be enjoined to the extent that law-abiding 18-to-20-year-olds are prohibited from applying for a license to carry a handgun.”
The decision opens up the potential for young adults to participate in Texas’s recently adopted permitless gun carry regime. But Judge Pittman stayed his decision for 30 days to allow the state to consider whether to seek an appeal. And now Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R.) has appealed the case to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.
That means a Republican administration is in the uncommon position of fighting to have a ruling that liberalized gun-carry laws overturned. And it isn’t just in the case of carry rights for adults under the age of 21.
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Outside The Reload
That’s it for this week in guns.
I’ll see you all next week.