New York will be able to continue enforcing its latest concealed carry restrictions because of a new order from a federal appeals court.
The Second Circuit Court of Appeals accepted New York’s plea to add a stay to a federal judge’s ruling blocking much of its gun-carry law. The stay will remain in effect until a panel of Second Circuit judges hears the case. Residents will be subject to the state’s permit-application process and numerous gun-free zones while that process unfolds.
New Yorkers will have to once again contend, at least temporarily, with the novel restrictions the state implemented in response to the Supreme Court striking down its previous gun-carry law as unconstitutional. The new law, which New York officials sold as a direct rebuke of that ruling, appears to be on the same path to defeat, with two different federal judges striking down much of it as a violation of the Second Amendment. But New York gun-carriers, and the gun-rights groups who back them, will have to clear a significant new hurdle to defeat the law.
The Gun Owners Foundation (GOF), one of the plaintiffs in the case, described the stay as a defeat.
“After 8 days of freedom for NY concealed carry permit holders, gun owners were dealt another blow by the anti-gun establishment,” the group said in a tweet.
On November seventh, Judge Glenn Suddaby of the Northern District of New York issued a preliminary injunction against most of the controversial portions of the law. He ruled the state could not force gun-carry permit applicants to turn over their social media accounts or information on their family members. He also blocked the state officials from using subjective judgment to determine whether an applicant had a “good moral character” when deciding on their application.
“[A]lthough the Court in no way suggests that America lacks a historical tradition of firearm-licensing schemes, it finds (based on the current briefing of the parties) that America lacks a historical tradition of firearm-licensing schemes conferring open-ended discretion on licensing officers,” Judge Suddaby wrote.
He also ruled the state’s ban on even licensed residents carrying guns in places of worship, restaurants that serve alcohol, theaters, areas with protests, banquet halls or conference centers, parks, areas at airports or clinics before security checkpoints, and public buses was unconstitutional. He further blocked the state’s attempt to prohibit gun carry by default on any private property, including businesses open to the public.
Suddaby chided the state for not attempting to identify historical analogues to justify most of its regulations as required under the Supreme Court’s New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. Bruen. He said the arguments the state came up with were also insufficient.
“For the sake of brevity, the Court will not expound on why it finds that barring some people from openly carrying rifles on other people’s farms and lands in 19th century America is hardly analogous to barring all license holders from carrying concealed handguns in virtually every commercial building now,” he wrote. “Even if the way the historical and modern regulations burdened one’s Second Amendment right were the same, the State Defendants’ attempt to analogize these six laws to Section 5 of the CCIA would stumble over the second of the Supreme Court’s two ‘central’ metrics: ‘why the regulations burden a law-abiding citizen’s right to armed self defense.'”
He further argued the state’s attempt to ban is a “thinly disguised version of the sort of impermissible ‘sensitive location’ regulation that the Supreme Court considered and rejected in NYSRPA.”
Plaintiffs said they would continue fighting New York, even if it requires going to the Supreme Court.
“This unconstitutional law is in direct opposition to the Bruen decision and GOF and [Gun Owners of America] will continue this fight all the way to SCOTUS,” GOF said.