AP

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

Oct 6, 2022, 9:43 AM | Updated: 9:00 pm

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York’s latest attempt to restrict who can carry a handgun in public and where firearms can be brought was picked apart Thursday by a federal judge, who ruled that multiple provisions in a state law passed this year are unconstitutional.

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

The state can’t ban people from carrying guns in New York City’s subway system or Times Square, the judge ruled, though he said it did have a right to exclude guns from certain other locations, including schools.

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

The end result was a licensing scheme that prohibited people from carrying a handgun for self-defense unless the applicant could persuade licensing officials that they wouldn’t use it to hurt themselves or others, the judge wrote.

“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.

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

New York Attorney General Letitia James’s office filed an appeal later Thursday.

“Today’s decision comes in the wake of mass shootings and rampant gun violence hurting communities here in New York and across the country. While the decision preserves portions of the law, we believe the entire law must be preserved as enacted,” said James, a Democrat.

Legislators rewrote the state’s handgun laws this summer after a Supreme Court ruling invalidated New York’s old system for granting permits to carry handguns outside the home. The high court struck down the state’s longstanding requirement that people demonstrate an unusual threat to their safety to qualify for such a license.

The new law, which went into effect Sept. 1, broadly expanded who could get a handgun license, but it increased training requirements for applicants and required them to turn over more private information, including a list of everyone living in their home. The state also created a long list of places where firearms would be banned.

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

Rules prohibiting most people from carrying guns into schools, government buildings, polling places and places of worship were OK, the judge wrote. But the state couldn’t put new bans on people from carrying handguns on public transportation systems, in summer camps or places where alcohol is consumed.

Suddaby also dealt a blow to a provision prohibiting people from bringing guns onto someone else’s property unless the owners give permission — by posting a sign in a shop window, for instance.

Gov. Kathy Hochul, also a Democrat, defended the state’s laws as “common-sense restrictions.”

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

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

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

One plaintiff intends to apply for a carry permit but is unwilling to share social media posts or character references with investigators, according to the federal complaint.

Suddaby telegraphed his ruling five weeks ago when he threw out 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 state district attorneys and sheriffs who were charged with enforcing the law.

New York is among a half-dozen states that had provisions of their gun laws invalidated by the Supreme Court.

___

Associated Press writers Michael R. Sisak and David B. Caruso contributed from New York City.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

The U.S. Supreme Court is seen, Thursday, Feb. 8, 2024, in Washington. The U.S. Supreme Court has h...

Associated Press

Supreme Court decision on Trump’s election status could come Monday morning

A SCOTUS decision could come Monday in the case about whether Trump can be kicked off the ballot over his efforts to undo his 2020 defeat.

11 hours ago

Republican presidential candidate former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley poses for a selfie after speakin...

Associated Press

Nikki Haley wins D.C. Republican primary, her first 2024 victory

Nikki Haley has won the Republican primary in the District of Columbia, notching her first victory of the 2024 campaign.

11 hours ago

An Apache group that has fought to protect land it considers sacred from a copper mining project in...

Associated Press

A US appeals court ruling could allow mine development in central Arizona on land sacred to Apaches

An Apache group that has fought to protect land from a copper mining project in central Arizona suffered a significant blow.

16 hours ago

On Friday, March 1, 2024, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said yogurt sold in the U.S. can ma...

Associated Press

Eating yogurt may reduce risk of type 2 diabetes, FDA says

Eating at least two cups of yogurt a week might reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said.

18 hours ago

Arizona will not approve new housing construction on the fast-growing edges of metro Phoenix that r...

Associated Press

Arizona Senate passes plan to manage rural groundwater, but final success is uncertain

A plan to manage rural groundwater passed the Arizona Senate amid concerns about the availability of sufficient water for future generations.

3 days ago

A woman pauses while shopping at a Kohl's store in Clifton, N.J., Jan. 26, 2024. On Thursday, Feb. ...

Associated Press

Federal Reserve’s preferred inflation gauge picked up last month in sign of still-elevated prices

An inflation gauge favored by the Federal Reserve increased in January, the latest sign that the slowdown in U.S. consumer price increases is occurring unevenly from month to month.

3 days ago

Sponsored Articles

(KTAR News Graphic)...

Boys & Girls Clubs

KTAR launches online holiday auction benefitting Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley

KTAR is teaming up with The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley for a holiday auction benefitting thousands of Valley kids.

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Valley residents should be mindful of plumbing ahead of holidays

With Halloween in the rear-view and more holidays coming up, Day & Night recommends that Valley residents prepare accordingly.

...

Sanderson Ford

The best ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day and give back to the community

Veterans Day is fast approaching and there's no better way to support our veterans than to donate to the Military Assistance Mission.

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