A federal judge temporarily blocked parts of a recently enacted state concealed carry law that created locations where firearms are restricted, raising questions about the law’s constitutionality.
Chief Judge Glenn Suddaby of the U.S. District Court in Syracuse made the order on Thursday. In it, he deemed some new requirements, such as making applicants give information about their social media accounts, excessive.
“Simply stated, instead of moving toward becoming a shall-issue jurisdiction, New York State has further entrenched itself as a shall-not-issue jurisdiction,” he wrote. “And, by doing so, it has further reduced a first-class constitutional right to bear arms in public for self-defense… into a mere request.”
After the Supreme Court ruled in June that the state’s proper-cause requirement was unconstitutional and violated the 14th Amendment, it compelled state officials to implement the changes.
The new legislation came into effect on Sept. 1. It includes new requirements, including firearm training, in-person interviews and social media reviews. It prohibits those with concealed carry permits from carrying weapons in sensitive places such as Times Square, schools, government offices and hospitals. One must also renew or recertify their permits every three years.
The judge’s decision maintains the ban on bringing firearms into public venues like schools, offices and houses of worship. However, he said that the state couldn’t forbid guns from entering other sensitive areas like Times Square.
By blocking parts of the law, it allows a legal challenge by a gun rights group to proceed. The plaintiffs, six Gun Owners of America members, claim the law is unconstitutional.
To give the state time to file an emergency appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, Suddaby said that his order would not go into force for three business days. The court could hear the case and provide a longer stay of the order. (A stay is a court action to halt a legal proceeding or a party’s actions.) But, if it does not, the order will go into effect.
The law hasn’t gone uncriticized in Nassau County, either. On Tuesday, at a presser, County Executive Blakeman discussed the challenges of enforcing the law.
“Although we think this law is arbitrary, capricious and unconstitutional,” he said. “We are going to do our best way to administer this law until there’s a file of adjudication with the litigation that’s ongoing as to whether or not this law is in fact constitutional.”
Officials also said 200 new gun permit applications have been submitted since the law went into effect.