Gazzola vs Hochul by Tom Reynolds
On November 30th, SCOPE sent an email to members about Gazzola v Hochul, one of the lawsuits filed against Hochul’s unconstitutional gun laws. On December 5th, we sent a follow up email on it. They are available on our website scopeny2a.org under “Briefings” and provide more detail.
The lawsuit challenges thirty-one inter-connected statutes that contain many new mandates impacting Federal Firearms Licensees (FFL’s) as both individuals and businesses. The thirty-one statutory provisions being challenged originated in four Bills, signed into law between May 30, 2022 and July 1, 2022.
The 31 statutes are an attempt to drive many New York FFL’s out of business by increasing the cost of doing business and, thus, leaving fewer legal places to buy firearms in NY. They would also drive up prices in the gun stores that remain open. These new laws bury the FFL’s in paperwork and give the anti-2A NY government the opportunity to find an error in the paperwork, so the FFL’s license can be revoked.
The Gun Writer reports that in the years before the Biden-Harris administration took over the White House, the ATF usually revoked an average of 40 Federal Firearm Licenses per year. But, in the first 18 months of the Biden administration, the ATF has revoked 273 FFLs.
If successful, Hochul certainly hopes that other anti-2A states follow her example, so she can say that “New York is leading”; (leading in infringing on our rights.)
The lawsuit charges: “…the new laws collectively impair and impede the ability of the Plaintiffs to engage in the lawful commerce of firearms and to host a gun show, and to serve as a conduit for those seeking to exercise their fundamental Second and Fourteenth Amendment rights. The new laws also violate the Fifth Amendment rights of the Plaintiffs, including the right against self-incrimination.”
Some of the specific issues cited in the lawsuit:
- The NYS Police become the “Point of Contact” for the federal NICS background check;
- A “security plan,” including a “safe,” “vault,” or “secured and locked area on the dealer’s business premises” and the separate storage of ammunition is required;
- A very expensive “security alarm system” is required;
- No entry of persons under eighteen years of age without a parent or legal guardian;
- Mandatory, semi-annual submission of the Book of Acquisitions and Dispositions (A&D Book) to the NYS Police;
- Access to inventory records “at any time” by “law enforcement agencies;”
- Authorization to the Superintendent of the NYS Police to “…promulgate such additional rules and regulations as the superintendent shall deem necessary...”
- Restriction against the sale of body vests;
- Establishing a new, standardized, classroom and live-fire course and test necessary for concealed carry handgun permits;
- Need a license to purchase a semi-automatic rifle;
- Requirement of an ammunition background check.
- DEPRIVATION OF CIVIL RIGHTS
- PRE-EMPTION BY FEDERAL LAW
- VOID FOR VAGUENESS DOCTRINE
- CONSTITUTIONAL-REGULATORY OVERBURDEN
This lawsuit charges NY State with:
Gazzola asked for a declaratory judgment that all thirty-one (31) new laws, rules, and regulations shall be struck down.
Not trusting the Hochul administration, the lawsuit further requested: “…the appointment of a special referee or magistrate to monitor any actions by the Defendants and other associated offices and agencies…to monitor any claims of future Defendant compliance with their responsibilities…”
A hearing was held on December 1st before Judge Brenda K. Sannes, the Chief U.S. District Judge. She was an Obama appointment in 2014. (She is one of the results of gun owners who don’t vote.)
The attorney for the plaintiffs is Paloma Capanna.
Judge Sannes quickly denied the lawsuit’s request for temporary restraining order and/or a preliminary injunction to stop the laws from going into effect.
This decision does not stop the lawsuit from going forward but does stop an injunction from temporarily halting its enforcement.
Frankly, the chances of winning in NY State have always been slim but this is such a slap-in-the-face to the Bruen ruling that it should do well if it gets before the U S Supreme Court.
An Emergency Motion for a hearing before the U S Supreme Court has been filed, including a “Rule 11 Petition for Writ of Certiorari” because the case is of national interest.
Reports are coming in that the U S Supreme Court may take up several NY State gun cases on an expedited basis. Let’s hope so!