I previously wrote about the latest New York gun law passed after the Court’s ruling in New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. Bruen and how it follows a long line of legally flawed legislative measures in the area. It did not take long. On Thursday, federal District Judge Glenn T. Suddaby issued a temporary restraining order against a substantial part of the law, including barring the provisions previously discussed as presumptively unconstitutional.
New York Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul promised such legislation within an hour of the release of Bruen. The Concealed Carry Improvement Act passed 43-20. While I noted that the law “has some elements likely to pass constitutional muster,” it followed the same pattern of past laws in creating an easy target for gun rights advocates.
It is hard not to see that listing as an obvious effort to do precisely what Hochul said: to recreate the ban by including virtually every location as a “sensitive area.”
Suddaby barred the limits on carrying guns in recreational settings, areas where alcoholic beverages are consumed, and other venues. That includes locations like Times Square. As expected, he preserved the limits for public or private educational facilities, polling places, government administrative buildings, permitted special events, and public meeting places.
Once again, it is baffling why New York voters continue to enable this type of leadership. New York routinely opts for legislation that offer immediate political benefits while causing long-term precedential damage. It is reckless and cynical, particularly when two justices (Roberts and Kavanaugh) have signaled their willingness to accept reasonable limits. Instead, Gov. Hochul and others have once again assembled the same circular firing squad of new, easily challengeable legislation.
The matter will now go to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, which has proven amiable to limits on the Second Amendment. It has also been reversed in major cases like Bruen. This could repeat that pattern and give the gun rights advocates another great opportunity to expand on Second Amendment protections.
The case is Antonyuk v. Hochul, No. 1:22-CV-0986 (U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York).