Second Circuit Strikes Down Critical Provisions in New York’s Most Recent Gun Control Law – JONATHAN TURLEY

I have previously written how New York has been the gift that keeps on giving for the National Rifle Association and other gun rights groups. The state legislature continues to crank out flagrantly unconstitutional gun control laws to please its political base, but the result is to further expand gun rights with a litany of court losses. The latest is a ruling by the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit striking down key provisions of the law passed after the Bruen decision.

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.

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.

What is striking about this latest court loss is that the Second Circuit has long been one of the most supportive courts for gun control advocates. It has also been repeatedly overturned in its decisions.

It blocked three provisions of New York’s “Concealed Carry Improvement Act” (CCIA) in a massive 261-page ruling (below). It struck down the provision discussed previously where New York required gun owners to disclose their social media accounts when applying for a concealed carry permit.

The court also rejected restrictions on carrying firearms on private property that is accessible to the public, as well as a restriction on concealed carry in houses of worship.

The Second Circuit, however, let stand the requirement that permit holders show “good moral character’ and that they reveal household and family members on a permit application. It also allows bans on possessing guns in a long list of sensitive places.

Some of those provisions are highly questionable either in their scope or the vagueness of the language in my view. Hochul made clear that the state was attempting to effectively ban guns by effectively declaring most of a given city a “sensitive place.”

The result is that this could well go again before the Supreme Court either in an appeal from New York or the plaintiffs. Once again, a public interest lawyer would think twice before appealing the ruling for New York. However, the state has previously shown little judgment in making such decisions. It has continued to double down on bad hands — a move that appeals to New York voters but undermines gun control efforts.

Here is the opinion: Second Circuit Decision


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