Federal judge arrests key parts of New York’s new gun law


ALBANY, NY – New York’s latest attempt to restrict who can carry a handgun in public and where firearms can be brought was set aside Thursday by a federal judge, who ruled that several provisions of a state law passed this year were unconstitutional.

In a ruling that doesn’t take effect immediately, U.S. District Judge Glenn Suddaby reversed key parts of the state’s hasty attempt to rewrite its handgun laws after old ones were struck down by the state. United States Supreme Court in June.

The state cannot ban people from carrying guns on the New York subway or in Times Square, the judge said, although he said he had the right to exclude guns from certain other places , including schools.

Several of the state’s new licensing rules went too far, he wrote, including one that required applicants to be of “good character” and another that required applicants to provide information about their social media accounts.

The end result was a licensing system that prohibited people from carrying a handgun for self-defense unless the applicant could persuade licensing officials that they would not use it to injure themselves or others, wrote the judge.

“Put simply, instead of becoming an issuing jurisdiction, New York State has asserted itself more as an issuing jurisdiction. And, in doing so, he further reduced a first-class constitutional right to bear arms in public for self-defense … to a mere request,” wrote Suddaby, who sits in Syracuse.

Suddaby, an appointee of former President George W. Bush, suspended his decision for three days to allow the state to challenge it in higher court.

New York Attorney General Letitia James said her office will appeal.

“Today’s decision follows mass shootings and rampant gun violence that is hurting communities here in New York and across the country. Although the ruling preserves portions of the law, we believe the entire law should be preserved as enacted,” said James, a Democrat.

Lawmakers rewrote state handgun laws this summer after a Supreme Court ruling struck down New York’s old system for licensing people to carry handguns. exterior of the house. The High Court struck down the state’s long-standing requirement that people had to demonstrate an unusual threat to their safety to qualify for such a licence.

The new law, which took effect Sept. 1, greatly expanded who could obtain a handgun license, but it increased educational requirements for applicants and required them to provide more private information, including a list of everyone living in their home. The state also created a long list of places where guns would be banned.

Suddaby’s decision upheld the state’s right to exclude guns from certain “sensitive locations,” but only in cases where there were “historical analogues” for those rules, meaning guns have been banned in these places in the past.

Rules prohibiting most people from carrying guns in schools, government buildings, polling stations and places of worship were acceptable, the judge wrote. But the state could not impose new bans on people carrying handguns on public transportation, at summer camps or in places where alcohol is consumed.

Suddaby also took a swipe at a provision prohibiting people from bringing firearms onto someone else’s property unless the owners give permission – by posting a sign in a shop window, for example.

Governor Kathy Hochul, also a Democrat, defended the state laws as “common sense restrictions.”

“While this ruling leaves certain aspects of the law in place, it is deeply disappointing that the judge wants to limit my ability to keep New Yorkers safe and prevent more senseless gun violence,” Hochul said.

There have been several federal challenges to the new law by gun rights advocates who argue that the legislation violates the Second Amendment and free speech rights.

This lawsuit was bought by six upstate New York gun owners who claim the law infringes on their constitutional rights. Most of the plaintiffs have licenses to carry and argue that the law prevents them from carrying a weapon in designated sensitive places like state parks or the church.

According to the federal complaint, a complainant intends to apply for a transport permit, but does not wish to share social media posts or character references with investigators.

Suddaby telegraphed his decision five weeks ago when he rejected a previous challenge to the law on technical grounds. The plaintiff in that case then teamed up with five other gun owners and sued again, expanding the list of defendants to include district attorneys and law enforcement sheriffs.

New York is one of half a dozen states whose provisions of gun laws have been struck down by the Supreme Court.


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