Ok, I’ll admit, I didn’t see this one coming, and it definitely wasn’t on my weird stuff Bingo card for this year. However, Niagara County, N.Y. District Attorney agrees the court should grant a preliminary injunction against the New York Concealed Carry Improvement Act.
Defendant Agrees Court Should File Preliminary Injunction Against New York Concealed Carry Improvement Act
In a surprising and unexpected turn of events, a Defendant in Hardaway, Jr. v. Nigrelli has filed a brief with the federal appeals court supporting the plaintiff’s application for a preliminary injunction.
Hardaway, Jr. v. Nigrelli is one in a list of challenges to New York’s new unconstitutional gun control law (below). The Second Amendment Foundation and Firearms Policy Coalition present the challenge. Likewise, citizens Larry A. Boyd and Jimmie Hardaway, Jr.—who the suit is named after—also joined the lawsuit.
The defendants in the case, in their official capacities, include Brian D. Seaman, Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn, and New York State Police Supt. Steven A. Nigrelli.
Seaman, who is Niagara County, N.Y. District Attorney, reinforced the plaintiffs’ assertion that the gun control law is unconstitutional. As reported below, the law prohibits concealed carry in broadly-defined “sensitive places” including places of worship.
In his brief he states that he supports the application for a preliminary injunction “for the purpose of furthering a judicial determination as to the constitutionality of New York Penal Law.”
He added, “Therefore, the Court should affirm the Decision and Order of the district court granting the Plaintiffs-Appellees’ application for a preliminary injunction.”
Moving Up the Chain
Following Seaman’s brief, Federal District Judge John L. Sinatra granted the preliminary injunction, and the state has appealed to the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals.
“While this is certainly an unusual development,” said SAF Executive Director Adam Kraut, “we welcome the concurrence of District Attorney Seaman in our effort to secure the preliminary injunction. We believe New York’s gun control scheme is wholly unconstitutional. The New York Legislature apparently believes it is above the law and we are confident that the courts will rein in this blatant attempt to circumvent the Supreme Court’s directives in the Bruen ruling.”
Keep checking back with Personal Defense World on this developing story.
On January 3, 2023, PDW reported:
The saga of the Concealed Carry Improvement Act (below) in New York continues as the law faces further scrutiny. And it may only be one small part of the law, but it is a very important part to many. Not to mention, a trip of a thousand miles begins with one step. Similarly, dismantling an anti-Second Amendment leviathan begins with chipping away at it one piece at a time.
Federal Judge Files Injunction Against New York Places of Worship Concealed Carry Law
To say that what is happening in New York concerning its Concealed Carry Improvement Act is a roller coaster is an understatement. The new law has faced scrutiny from the beginning and has already seen numerous challenges. As a result, a temporary injunction was placed on the law. However, it wasn’t long before anti-gun activist judges put the ruling on hold (below), allowing New York to enforce it.
However, this is not stopping individual challenges to the law from moving forward and gaining ground. Specifically in the case of Spencer v. Nigrelli, which is the third case challenging the exclusion of concealed carry in places of worship. The case follows rulings in the Hardaway v. Nigrelli and the Antonyuk v. Nigrelli cases.
In the case of Spencer v. Nigrelli Judge John Sinatra of the Western District of New York found the law unconstitutional because it violates worshippers’ gun rights and hinders the free exercise of religious beliefs.
According to Sinatra’s ruling, “Ample Supreme Court precedent addressing the individual’s freedoms under the First and Second Amendments to the Constitution dictate that New York’s new place of worship exclusion is unconstitutional. As in Hardaway, the State fails the Second Amendment test set forth in Bruen. And it fares no better with respect to Plaintiffs’ claims under the Free Exercise and Establishment Clauses of the First Amendment.”
Not Out of the Woods Yet
As we saw in the case below, this injunction could be put on hold. The case will head to New York’s Second Circuit Court which has a track record of upholding gun restrictions. Likewise, advocates will likely have to convince appellate judges as well, according to the Reload.
The Daily Caller reports, “‘We’re pleased the court recognized that no American should be forced to sacrifice one constitutionally protected freedom to enjoy another. Houses of worship have a constitutionally protected freedom to decide for themselves whether to allow legally possessed firearms into their facilities,’ Erin Murphy, partner at Clement & Murphy, one of the firms who first filed the lawsuit, said in a press release obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation.”
According to reports, Sinatra based his ruling on the idea that the law singles out religious institutions in ways unlike private property owners.
He indicates that “There is no evident justification for the view that secular business owners are more qualified than religious leaders to determine whether to allow armed self-defense on their property.”
He believes, along with religious leaders, that churches have a duty to protect church members based on genuine religious belief. Whether the injunction will stand remains to be seen, but this has now become a fight on two fronts—the First and Second Amendments.
On December 12, 2022, PDW reported:
In November, we reported that a U.S. District judge suspended the New York Concealed Carry Improvement Act (below). His reasoning was that there were too many constitutional issues within multiple portions of the law. While it was a big win for New York gun owners, it, unfortunately, didn’t stand the test of time.
Federal Court Allows New York to Enforce New Concealed Carry Law
Last Wednesday, December 7th, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals put on hold most of a ruling from U.S. District Court Judge Glenn Suddaby. What this means is that, for now, the law stands, and New York can enforce it.
Specifically, “sensitive places” are back in place, and concealed carry is no longer allowed. In essence, a good portion of New York just became a gun-free zone again. Likewise, applicants must once again prove they are of “good moral character” and turn over their social media accounts to get a concealed carry permit.
According to the AP, “The appeals panel on Wednesday continued a stay put in place a week after Suddaby’s ruling while it considers a motion from government officials opposing the injunction.”
Ideally, the Appellate court will also find that the law runs afoul of the Constitution, as Suddaby did, and reinstate the injunction. But it really depends on the political balance in the court. So, it remains to be seen.
For now, New Yorkers will be left defenseless in the face of rising violent crime in their city. So, one can only hope that the court moves quickly on its decision. But there is no word on when it plans to address the case.
On November 8, 2022, PDW reported:
Following the recent ruling in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc v. Bruen, Governor Kathy Hochul skirted the Supreme Court decision and instituted new legislation. The New York Concealed Carry Improvement Act created a whole new slew of laws throughout the state. For example, the act turned almost the entirety of New York City into a gun-free zone. This was met with fierce opposition from Gun Owners of America.
The New York Concealed Carry Improvement Act
In typical Democrat fashion, when the ruling didn’t go her way, Hochul lashed out, calling the Supreme Court “reckless.” Of course, this was just a pretense to ignore the highest court in the land and do as she please. It would be irresponsible to cater to the whims of reckless decisions. Right?
According to a Fox News article at the time, “Democratic New York Gov. Kathy Hochul warned that her state is ‘just getting started’ on gun restrictions after the Supreme Court struck down a state gun control measure Thursday.”
And she made good on her promise by placing herself above the Supreme Court, creating the Concealed Carry Improvement Act. The legislation appears to be nothing more than a means to bully gun owners and concealed carry license applicants.
Likewise, the new state law imposes unconstitutional requirements when applying for concealed carry permits. For example, the law calls for more invasive background checks for anyone filing a license application.
Additionally, it limited a concealed carry license holder from carrying concealed in almost all public areas. Not to mention, carrying concealed weapons on private property without the express permission of the owner is a felony. Time Square, as a whole, immediately became a no-go zone for concealed carry.
The most brazen bully tactic is the leaked document advising law enforcement that gun owners are guilty until proven innocent. This is not only unconstitutional but downright tyrannical and authoritarian. What’s the Democrat’s favorite word for this kind of behavior? That’s right. Fascist.
However, as it turns out, a federal court in New York was not impressed with Governor Hochul’s temper tantrum. Nor was the judge allowing her to circumvent the highest court in the land.
Judge Issues Preliminary Injunction Against New York Concealed Carry Improvement Act
As you are most likely aware, Gun Owners of America recently filed a suit against the newly established law. Fortunately for NY gun owners, GOA was able to secure a preliminary injunction while it moves forward with the case.
According to Reuters, “Judge Glenn Suddaby of the U.S. District Court in Syracuse agreed to issue the order at the request of six New York residents who are members of Gun Owners of America, which competes with the National Rifle Association in political influence.”
This means that the newly formed concealed carry laws are now suspended while GOA continues litigation against the unconstitutional act. According to Judge Glenn Suddaby, the law has imposed “unprecedented constitutional violations,” and he has suspended the following provisions:
- Requiring good moral character
- Requiring the names and contact info of spouses and other adults in the applicant’s home
- Requiring applicants to disclose social media accounts for review
- The restrictions on carrying in public parks, zoos, places of worship, locations where alcohol is served, theaters, banquet halls, conferences, airports and buses, lawful protests or assemblies, and the prohibition on carrying on private property without express consent from the owner
However, he did keep certain bans in place for schools, courthouses, and polling places.
A Big Win for Second Amendment Rights
This signifies a huge win for the Second Amendment and gun rights while dealing a massive blow to the gun control lobby. Not to mention, it has the potential to send a clear message to other states that are watching closely.
Reuters continues, “The fate of New York’s new law is being watched by leaders in California, Maryland, and several other large states with gun regulations the Supreme Court found unconstitutional.”
The American people are watching closely too. Kathy Hochul’s attempt to circumvent the rule of law cannot go unchecked. We live in a Constitutional Republic, which means there are checks and balances to prevent this kind of authoritarian rule. Thankfully organizations like Gun Owners of America are standing the line against stunts like this.
Following the decision, Erich Pratt, GOA’s Senior Vice President issued the following statement:
“Just like we warned politicians after the Bruen decision, fall in line, or we will force you to. We are excited to see Kathy Hochul finally served a plate of humble pie, and we are fully prepared to continue the fight should she again attempt to disarm the citizens of her state at a time when her party’s policies are only escalating the danger that everyday citizens face.”
Sam Paredes, on behalf of the Board of Directors for the Gun Owners Foundation, added:
“This is very exciting for the citizens of New York, as today liberty won and tyranny lost. GOF and our allies remain fully prepared to defend this ruling from the foolish appeals that the anti-gunners in Albany will inevitably bring.”
This decision from Judge Suddaby instills renewed hope that the process still works. But we must stay vigilant and hold the line because Hochul ignored previous rulings, and she may try again.
Unless she’s voted out today. Go vote.