Federal judge finds New York gun law is unconstitutional

Earlier this year, the Supreme Court found New York’s requirement that residents show good cause before receiving a concealed handgun permit to be unconstitutional.

The state responded with another law requiring applicants to show good moral character while also banning guns from many places. However, a federal judge just ruled that this new plan is also unconstitutional. 

Judge removes social media and character reference provisions, limits gun-free zones

According to Reuters, Chief Judge Glenn Suddaby of the U.S. District Court in Syracuse moved this past Thursday to block key parts of the new legislation.

Suddaby’s decision came in response to a lawsuit filed by the pro-Second Amendment group Gun Owners of America.

Specifically, it prohibits the state from demanding that gun owners provide four character references and give law enforcement access to their social media accounts when seeking a carry permit.

What’s more, Suddaby substantially limited the number of areas deemed to be “sensitive locations” where permit holders are barred from carrying their weapons.

Under its provisions, all schools and colleges, government buildings, medical facilities, public transit, bars or restaurants serving alcohol, parks, stadiums, and New York City’s Times Square are off-limits to legally armed individuals.

Suddaby substantially narrowed that list, saying that while schools, colleges, and government buildings may retain their “sensitive” designation, guns must be permitted in the other places listed.

Further, the George W. Bush appointee also threw out a provision making it a felony for any person to carry a firearm on private property unless the property owner has posted a sign stating that guns are welcome.

The state attorney general says ” the entire law must be preserved as enacted”

New York was represented in the case by state Attorney General Tish James, and Politico reported that she has vowed to appeal Suddaby’s ruling.

“Today’s decision comes in the wake of mass shootings and rampant gun violence hurting communities here in New York and across the country,” the website quoted James as saying in a statement on Thursday.

“While the decision preserves portions of the law, we believe the entire law must be preserved as enacted,” she went on to add.