GOA-NY # 2 Ruling on October 6th by Tom Reynolds
On October 6th, U.S. District Judge Glenn Suddaby issued a decision on the GOA-NY lawsuit. This was the follow up law suit that SCOPE described in its Email of September 23rd titled “GOA-NY #2”. S.C.O.P.E. Shooters Committee On Political Education - GOA-NY #2 (scopeny2a.org) The original law suit’s results were described in SCOPE’s Email of September 2nd called “Round One”. S.C.O.P.E. Shooters Committee On Political Education - Round One (scopeny2a.org)
The new law suit asserted that the Concealed Carry Improvement Act (CCIA) violated the 1st, 2nd, 5th and 14th Amendments.
The CCIA is a long law with many parts and the challenges to it were successful on many parts - but not all. 2nd Amendment defenders may feel good but not overjoyed. The following will highlight each of the parts of the decision.
Temporarily Restrained is a temporary 2nd Amendment victory.
As with the First law suit, NY State tried to get the case dismissed on technical grounds. They failed.
- The first law suit resulted in a dismissal for lack of standing. However, in the new law suit, “the Court finds that Plaintiffs have sufficiently shown that they each have standing and that each Defendant is a proper party…”
- NY State also tried for a dismissal by describing a technicality, out of context. The judge caught it and dismissed it.
- NY State then tried to show that the circumstances did not call for a Temporary Injunction. The judge overruled them.
Then, the judge made his rulings on the various parts of the law. Remember, SCOPE is attempting, below, to convert the lengthy legal rulings and pages of back-up into some easily understood descriptions.
License applicant must show “good moral character”.
The judge first rejected CCIA saying that under CCIA: “the applicant (must) rebut the presumption that he or she is a danger to himself or herselfs ...instead of moving toward becoming a shall-issue jurisdiction, New York State has further entrenched itself as a shall-not-issue jurisdiction.” (Emphasis added.)
But the judge also gave NY State a way out. He let the provision stand but he inserted mandatory language that, instead of the license applicant proving he/she has good moral character, NY State must now prove the applicant does not have good moral.
The applicant went from guilty until proven innocent to innocent until proven guilty.
License applicant must furnish character references
The judge let this provision stand.
License applicant must furnish names and contact information for the applicant's current spouse, or domestic partner, any other adults residing in the applicant's home, including any adult children of the applicant, and whether or not there are minors residing, full time or part time, in the applicant's home
The judge said: “…the Court finds that no such circumstances exist under which this provision would be valid… The Court orders its enforcement temporarily restrained.”
License applicant must furnish social media accounts
The Court ordered its enforcement temporarily restrained.
License applicant must furnish “Such Other Information Required by the Licensing Officer”
The judge had doubts about this except for minor follow up information but gave NY State the benefit-of-the-doubt and ruled: “…the Court will let this provision stand for now, although it is willing to revisit the issue…”
License applicant must undergo Eighteen Hours of Firearm Training.
The judge, “ …has been persuaded by Defendants that historically Americans’ familiarity with firearms was far more common than it is today; and it is has not yet been persuaded by Plaintiffs that the CCIA’s firearm-training requirements are so onerous as to fall within the scope of what the Supreme Court in Bruen called ‘exorbitant.’”
But he also quoted a warning from Bruen “…because any permitting scheme can be put toward abusive ends, we do not rule out constitutional challenges to shall-issue regimes where, for example, lengthy wait times in processing license applications or exorbitant fees deny ordinary citizens their right to public carry.”
As a result, the Court let that provision stand, for now.
License applicant must have an In-Person Meeting with Licensing Officer
The judge found: “…that no such circumstances exist under which this provision would be valid…As a result, the Court orders this provision’s enforcement temporarily restrained.”
The judge then turned his attention to sensitive locations and restricted locations where concealed carry is prohibited under CCIA.
Government Buildings and polling places as sensitive locations
The judge let these provisions stand.
Places of Worship or Religious Observation as sensitive locations
The judge ruled that “…the Constitution demands that this provision contain an exception for those persons who have been tasked with the duty to keep the peace at the place of worship or religious observation. The Court therefore orders Defendants to so construe this provision when performing their duties in their official capacities.”
The judge is saying that general parishioners cannot carry but designated security can carry.
Schools, etc as sensitive locations
The judge ruled that this provision may stand for now, except for the prohibition on concealed carry in “summer camps.”
Places or Vehicles Used for Public Transportation as a sensitive location
The judge ruled, “…it does not appear permissible for New York State to restrict concealed carry in ‘any place, conveyance, or vehicle used for public transportation or public transit, subway cars, train cars, buses, ferries, railroad, omnibus, marine or aviation transportation; or any facility used for or in connection with service in the transportation of passengers, airports, train stations, subway and rail stations, and bus terminals.’”
The Court ordered the enforcement of this provision temporarily restrained.
Any gathering of individuals to collectively express their constitutional rights to protest or assemble as a sensitive location.
The judge said: “…it appears permissible for New York State to restrict concealed carry in ‘any gathering of individuals to collectively express their constitutional rights to protest or assemble’”
As a result, this provision may stand.
Performance events, etc as sensitive locations
The judge said it does not appear permissible for New York State to restrict concealed carry in the following places: “…any place used for the performance, art entertainment, gaming, or sporting events such as theaters, stadiums, racetracks, museums, amusement parks, performance venues, concerts, exhibits, conference centers, banquet halls, and gaming facilities and video lottery terminal facilities as licensed by the gaming commission….”
The judge ordered the enforcement of this provision temporarily restrained.
Serving Alcohol or cannabis as sensitive locations
It does not appear permissible for New York State to restrict concealed carry in the following places, “…any establishment issued a license for on-premise consumption… where alcohol is consumed and any establishment licensed under article four of the cannabis law for on-premise consumption.”
The Court ordered the enforcement of this provision temporarily restrained.
Times Square as a sensitive location
The judge ruled that enforcement of this provision is temporarily restrained.
All Other “Sensitive Locations”
The judge found: “…it impermissible for New York State to restrict concealed carry in the remaining 10 purported ‘sensitive locations’ set forth in the CCIA…the Court orders the enforcement of these remaining provisions temporarily restrained.”
Prohibition on ‘Restricted Locations’ which prohibits license holders from carrying in other persons’ buildings and or on other person’s land, enclosed or not, unless expressly permitted to do so.
The judge ruled that, ”…The State of New York is now making a decision for private property owners that they are perfectly able to make for themselves (and, in fact, did before the CCIA was enacted), as well as arguably compelling speech on a sensitive issue.”
“The Court orders the enforcement of this provision temporarily restrained, except with regard to fenced-in farmland owned by another or fenced-in hunting ground owned by another.”
The Temporary Restraining Orders shall be in effect pending a hearing and ruling on Plaintiffs’ motion for a preliminary injunction. Currently, that briefing is scheduled to conclude on October 20, 2022.
The Temporary Restraining Order should be stayed three business days to allow NY State to seek emergency relief in the Second Circuit Appeals court.