Governor can’t ban guns in Times Square, federal judge rules – NBC New York

A federal judge on Thursday suspended key provisions of New York’s latest attempt to restrict who can carry a handgun in public and where firearms can be brought, saying several parts of a law passed by the state this year are unconstitutional.

US District Judge Glenn Suddaby focused on several parts of the law, saying the licensing requirements – such as a rule requiring applicants to provide information about their social media accounts – went too far.

“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 in self-defense … to a mere request,” wrote Suddaby, who sits in Syracuse.

The ruling would keep restrictions in place prohibiting the carrying of firearms into schools, government buildings and places of worship, but the judge said the state could not ban firearms from other sensitive places. , such as Times Square.

The judge gave the state three business days to seek emergency assistance in a federal appeals court.

The rules were part of a sweeping gun law that took effect Sept. 1, designed to protect public safety while respecting a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that struck down New York’s old system for licensing of handguns outside the home.

The law has increased educational requirements for applicants and requires them to provide more private information, including a list of everyone living in their home. Suddaby said the law’s requirement that an applicant for a license be of “good character” is unconstitutional as it currently stands.

Governor Kathy Hochul and the state legislature approved the law this summer shortly after the High Court struck down a state law that required people to demonstrate an unusual threat to their safety to qualify for a license to carry a handgun outside their home. In a statement Thursday, the Democrat called the decision “disappointing.”

“In the wake of the Supreme Court’s reckless decision that overturned decades of established law amid a nationwide gun violence crisis, the state legislature and I acted decisively to ensure the safety of New Yorkers The Concealed Carry Improvement Act was carefully crafted to put in place restrictions around concealed carry permits,” Hochul said.

“While this decision 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,” she continued. “We are working with the Attorney General’s office to carefully review the decision and discuss next steps for an appeal. I will continue to do everything in my power to address the epidemic of gun violence and protect New Yorkers. .”

There have been several federal challenges to the 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.

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

Martin E. Berry