New York's Radical Gun Restrictions Headed To Supreme Court

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by Tyler Durden
Thursday, Feb 22, 2024 - 02:40 AM

Submitted by Gun Owners of America,

Gun Owners of America is taking New York to the Supreme Court over their mistakenly named "Concealed Carry Improvement Act," or CCIA in our case Antonyuk v. Nigrelli.

The CCIA represents New York's blatant refusal to comply with the mandate set forth in the landmark case NYSRPA v. Bruen in 2022. For those unfamiliar, Bruen overturned New York's may-issue licensing scheme for concealed carry permits. Unfortunately for New York gun owners, the CCIA's system to replace this scheme is somehow even more restrictive than what preceded it.

That's because the CCIA is an attempt to nullify the Bruen decision. In the immediate aftermath of the case, New York politicians decried that decision as "reprehensible," vowing to resist the "insanity" of "gun culture."

New York decided that, if the State must issue concealed carry licenses to ordinary citizens after Bruen, they would have to do whatever they could to discourage applicants. They did this by imposing novel and onerous licensing requirements, and then render any remaining licenses practically void by prohibiting carry virtually everywhere in the State by declaring a multitude of brand new "sensitive locations."

In New York's defense of the Concealed Carry Improvement Act, they have relied almost entirely on a few outlier laws from the late nineteenth century as justification for their new restrictions. These laws that New York uses as examples were created to disarm minority communities during the reconstruction period after the Civil War.

Gun Owners of America sued over these restrictions and won at the district level. However, the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals was eager to intervene on behalf of New York's anti-gun politicians.

In their ruling, the 2nd Circuit ended upholding most of New York's law. And while GOA did manage to squash parts of the law, some of the most egregious sections remain intact, including the "good moral character" requirement.

The "good moral character" requirement of the CCIA stands in direct opposition to the Supreme Court's clear rejection of discretionary "suitability" determinations in the Bruen case.

So why would the 2nd Circuit uphold so much of a law that directly defies the Supreme Court? Well, the answer may lie in a Law Review article that was cited in the 2nd Circuit's decision.

In the article titled "The Dead Hand of a Silent Past: Bruen, Gun Rights, and the Shackles of History," the author refers to the Bruen decision as "unsatisfying" and lays out a playbook for Judicial responses to the law. Additionally, lower Courts are encouraged to "engage in the time-honored practice of narrowing Supreme Court precedent from below."

It's clear that the 2nd Circuit means to defy the Supreme Court's ruling in Bruen. But the consequences of this ruling could be wide-reaching if not taken up by the high court. If lower courts ignore case law set by the Supreme Court, the consequences for any law or ruling could change based on the political alignment of the jurisdiction. It would be anarchy.

This is why GOA is petitioning the Supreme Court to take up our case and answer the following questions:

  1. Whether the proper historical time period for ascertaining the Second Amendment's original meaning is 1791 rather than 1868; and
  2. Whether "the people" must convince government officials of their "good moral character" before exercising their Second Amendment right to bear arms in public.

Erich Pratt, Gun Owners of America's Senior Vice President, had this to say:

"New York politicians just couldn't help themselves when they quickly doubled down with their unconstitutional edicts following the Bruen decision. I'm incredibly confident the justices will take an extra close look at this case since their previous ruling was ignored by the insubordinate tyrants in Albany. We're excited about the opportunity to serve Kathy Hochul and her cabal another plate of humble pie if the Court takes the case."

Sam Paredes, on behalf of the Board of Directors for the Gun Owners Foundation, added:

"We sent the warning out to politicians far and wide following Bruen, fall in line or we will make you. Sadly, New York refused to honor the Constitution, so we have no choice but to follow through on our threat. We urge the Court to take the case and once again rebuke New York's unconstitutional gun control."

The Supreme Court must clarify these questions in the wake of the Bruen decision and set the record straight for lower courts across the country.

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We'll hold the line for you in Washington. We are No Compromise. Join the Fight Now.

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Here's more on the case: