Fed judge shoots down NY’s gun laws

An upstate federal judge issued a temporary restraining order on Thursday against parts of New York Governor Kathy Hochul’s latest gun control law which prohibits licensed gun owners with concealed carry permits from carrying in so-called “sensitive places,” including Times Square.

The 53-page decision also blocked enforcement of several other provisions of the “Concealed Carry Improvement Act” in response to the Supreme Court’s landmark July ruling that overturned a 1913 New York state gun-control law.

Syracuse federal Judge Glenn Suddaby issued temporary restraining orders against the aspects of the CCIA he found unconstitutional.

Suddaby also temporarily ruled against the enforcement of measures requiring carry-permit applicants to give authorities a list of all their current and former social media accounts from the past three years, as well as the names and contact information of everyone living with them.

In addition, he said applicants wouldn’t have to meet for in-person interviews with officials reviewing their applications and barred a requirement that they prove themselves to be of “good moral character.”

The Second Amendment advocacy group Gun Owners of America (GOA) said it, along with the Gun Owners Foundation (GOF), secured the restraining order in federal court. The decision comes after GOA and GOF refiled a lawsuit against New York State.

The restraining order will take effect next week.

“Anti-gunners like Kathy Hochul and Eric Adams lied and misrepresented the Second Amendment to the courts, putting New Yorkers at a great disadvantage in the midst of rising crime,” GOA’s Senior Vice President Erich Pratt said. “We are grateful to Judge Suddaby for his quick action to restore the right of the people to keep and bear arms. Once the TRO goes into effect, GOA encourages New Yorkers to exercise their rights and to defend themselves and the ones they love.” 

The decision comes after officials said new “Gun Free Zone” signs would be displayed at “every entry point” to Times Square in New York City beginning on Thursday, Sept. 1.

In July, Gov. Kathy Hochul signed a new law restricting where gun owners can carry a concealed weapon. The gun control law established a list of “sensitive locations” – also known as a “Gun Free Zone” – where it is unlawful to carry a “firearm, rifle or shotgun,” even if an individual has a concealed carry permit.

In addition to Times Square, the judge also ruled that it’s “impermissible for New York State to restrict concealed carry” in 10 other “purported ‘sensitive locations’ set forth in the CCIA.”

The locations include:

  • Houses of Worship
  • Public Transportation
  • Airports
  • Entertainment venues
  • Bars and restaurants that serve alcohol
  •  Times Square
  • Polling sites
  • Educational institutions
  • Daycares, playgrounds and places where children gather
  • Libraries
  • All government buildings
  • Courthouses
  • Health and medical facilities
  • Emergency shelters, including homeless, youth, or domestic violence centers
  • Public demonstrations and rallies

tate Attorney General Letitia James, who is defending Houchl, said the judge’s ruling would be appealed.

“Today’s decision comes in the wake of mass shootings and rampant gun violence hurting communities here in New York and across the country,” she said in a prepared statement.

“While the decision preserves portions of the law, we believe the entire law must be preserved as enacted.”

Hochul, in a statement, said that the CCIA “was carefully crafted to put in place common-sense restrictions around concealed carry permits.”

“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,” she said.

“I will continue to do everything in my power to combat the gun violence epidemic and protect New Yorkers.”

Mayor Eric Adams also said, “Once again, the courts have opened up another river leading to the sea of gun violence, making it harder for us to protect New Yorkers.”

“While the city is not a party to this case, we are willing to support the state in any way possible as it pursues an appeal,” he added.

In a prepared statement, US Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-Glens Falls) hailed the decision.

“We are one step closer to ending Corrupt Kathy Hochul’s assault on our fundamental Second Amendment rights and restoring the rights of New Yorkers,” Stefanik said.

“Her direct attack on our Upstate Values has wrongfully declared historical reenactors and lawful gun owners in the Adirondack Park as felons and ended gun show fundraisers for first responders in my district. This must come to an end now.”