In its NYSRPA v. Bruen decision in June, the Supreme Court struck down New York state’s arbitrary and subjective “proper cause” requirement to obtain a concealed carry permit, but the Democrat-run state responded defiantly with a new concealed carry law that included even more arbitrary and subjective restrictions on would-be concealed carriers.
The so-called Concealed Carry Improvement Act, however, has now been partially gutted after a federal judge, in light of the new Bruen standard, issued a temporary restraining order to block enforcement of numerous onerous requirements and restrictions in the new law, Breitbart reported.
That is devastating news for not just New York’s anti-gun Democrats but also President Joe Biden, who sharply criticized the SCOTUS ruling in June, as well as all other Democratic officials who seek to skirt or undermine the Second Amendment-protected right to keep and bear arms, which necessarily encompasses public carry.
New York’s new concealed carry law is worse than what was struck down
Under the new CCIA, the “proper cause” requirement was replaced with an obligation for concealed carry permit applications to prove their “good moral character” via a litany of requirements that included access to social media accounts, character references, lists of family members and cohabitants, and other things in addition to a plethora of public places being declared as “sensitive locations” that were off-limits to guns and rendered it virtually impossible to carry a gun anywhere legally.
Six residents sued the state and various officials and asserted that New York’s new law was unconstitutional and in violation of not just the Second Amendment but also the First Amendment, Fifth Amendment, and Fourteenth Amendment.
U.S. District Judge Glenn Suddaby agreed, at least in part, with those residents and, using the new “historical tradition” standard on gun regulations set by Bruen, picked apart the law and temporarily blocked enforcement of various provisions that had no prior historical analogs.
“Good moral character” requirements little different than prior “proper cause”
In his 53-page ruling, Judge Suddaby knocked the “good moral character” provision for being a default prohibition against granting a license little different from the previous “proper cause” and wrote, “In essence, New York State has replaced its requirement that an applicant show a special need for self-protection with its requirement that the applicant rebut the presumption that he or she is a danger to himself or herself, while retaining (and even expanding) the open-ended discretion afforded to its licensing officers.”
“Simply stated, instead of moving toward becoming a shall-issue jurisdiction, New York State has further entrenched itself as a shall-not-issue jurisdiction,” he continued. “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.”
The judge then went through each sub-provision of the “good moral character” clause one by one to determine if they should be allowed to stand or be temporarily restrained, with those requirements that were restrained being the list of family members and cohabitants, the list of social media accounts, and an in-person meeting — though he also noted that some of the other requirements allowed to stand for now could also be blocked later.
New York’s overbroad “sensitive locations” restrictions whittled down
Suddaby similarly worked through the 20 different categories of “sensitive locations” where guns were prohibited and, depending upon if there were any historical analogs for such restrictions, upheld or knocked down each one in turn, according to Reason.
In the end, he rejected several of the restrictions including “the prohibition of firearms in public transportation, in entertainment venues, in places where alcohol is served, and in ‘the area commonly known as Times Square,'” while also ordering the state to provide for exceptions for a few of the other restrictions, such as houses of worship or places of business and private property.
Democrats in New York and elsewhere may howl and complain about this ruling, and it will almost certainly be appealed, in which case we can only hope that this new law, which is arguably even more restrictive than the unconstitutional one it replaced, is even more thoroughly smacked down and dismantled by the Supreme Court.