Federal Appeals Court Blocks Parts of N.Y. Gun Law

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  • Harrys

    Short Round
    Jul 12, 2014
    Nicole Wells
    08 December 2023

    The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday blocked parts of a New York gun control law, including the controversial social media provision for concealed carry applicants, The Hill reported.

    The three-member panel struck down a contested provision that requires applicants for concealed carry permits to disclose their current and former social media accounts to the state.

    “The State points to no historical law conditioning lawful carriage of a firearm on disclosing one’s pseudonyms or, more generally, on informing the government about one’s history of speech,” the ruling read.

    The court also invalidated a provision that bans gun possession by default on private property, and further prevents the state from enforcing a gun possession ban at places of worship.

    While the judges struck down some of the law’s provisions, they upheld others that previously had been found unconstitutional by lower courts.

    The ruling, which has been expected for months, is unlikely to be the final salvo in the battle over New York’s gun control law; the fight could ultimately be taken all the way to the Supreme Court.

    “Our affirmance or vacatur of the district courts’ injunctions does not determine the ultimate constitutionality of the challenged CCIA provisions, which await further briefing, discovery, and historical analysis, both in these cases as they proceed and perhaps in other cases,” the 2nd Circuit wrote.

    Empire State Democrats pushed the law through after New York’s concealed carry licensing system was overturned by the Supreme Court last year.

    In NYSRPA v. Bruen, the high court’s conservative majority found that gun control laws must be consistent with the United State's historical tradition of firearms regulation, marking the biggest victory for Second Amendment rights in 10 years.

    New York’s Concealed Carry Improvement Act (CCIA) creates new requirements for people with a permit to carry a gun and bans firearms in 20 “sensitive places,” including Times Square, Yankee Stadium, and the subway system.

    After two advocacy groups, a church, and several individuals filed lawsuits, various provisions of the CCIA were struck down by trial courts in a number of different rulings. According to The Hill, the 2nd Circuit paused those rulings, as it combined appeals in the four cases.

    The appeals court’s 261-page decision supersedes rulings that had overturned gun possession bans at many “sensitive” locations, including public parks, zoos, and theaters.

    The CCIA contains a requirement that concealed carry permit applicants show “good moral character;” the 2nd Circuit said a lower court improperly blocked that requirement.

    “The CCIA’s definition of ‘character’ is a proxy for dangerousness: whether the applicant, if licensed to carry a firearm, is likely to pose a danger to himself, others, or public safety,” the three-judge panel wrote.

    “And there is widespread consensus (notwithstanding some disputes at the margins) that restrictions which prevent dangerous individuals from wielding lethal weapons are part of the nation’s tradition of firearm regulation,” it continued. “We therefore cannot conclude that every denial on grounds of ‘good moral character’ as defined by New York will violate the Second Amendment, though various avenues lie open for as-applied challenges.”


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