WASHINGTON, D.C. -(Ammoland.com)- Gun Owners of America (GOA) has filed an application with the United States Supreme Court (SCOTUS) to vacate the recent United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit stay on a District Court’s preliminary injunction against New York State’s Conceal Carry Improvement Act (CCIA).
GOA teamed up with multiple residents of the Empire State to sue Governor Hochul over the CCIA in Antonyuk v. Hochul. The gun rights group claimed that the law was unconstitutional and ran afoul of the landmark SCOTUS decision in New York State Pistol Rifle Association v. Bruen. A District Judge for the Western District of New York heard the case.
The plaintiffs argued that the law was Constitutionally flawed. One major issue was the “sensitive areas” aspect of the CCIA.
Although Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas wrote in Bruen that the state could designate certain areas as sensitive and ban guns, such as schools and government buildings, the designation had to be used sparingly. A state cannot establish a place as a sensitive area just because it is where people gather.
The CCIA made most of New York a sensitive area, including Time Square, because it is where people gather. Most places that were not considered sensitive were designated “restricted locations.” These locations included private businesses. Private businesses must post signs stating they allowed firearms, and they would be treated as “sensitive.”
Another issue the District Court deemed unconstitutional was the “good moral character” clause of the CCIA. Bruen knocked down the “proper cause” from the NY Safe Act, but New York State substituted the new phrase. This was a blatant attempt to work around the Bruen Decision. The concealed carry applicant must also give over three years of social media posts. The judge thought this violated the plaintiff’s First Amendment rights.
GOA initially won a temporary restraining order (TRO) against the CCIA, but Governor Hochul asked the Circuit Court to stay the order. The anti-gun Second Circuit ruled in favor of the Governor and issued an emergency stay. The Circuit Court wouldn’t get to hear arguments about the stay because the District Court would issue a preliminary injunction against the law.
Governor Hochul’s office asked the Second Circuit to issue an emergency stay until a three-judge panel from the Circuit Court could hear New York State’s appeal. Once again, the Circuit Court granted New York’s wish.
GOA is now asking the Supreme Court to step in and vacate the Second Circuit’s stay. Lawyers for the plaintiffs call the Second Circuit’s decision a “knee-jerk reaction.” They point out that the Second Circuit failed to provide any reasoned analysis as to why staying the Preliminary Injunction was the proper action. Most of all, the attorneys point out that the CCIA all but eliminated concealed carry in New York and was a direct response to the Bruen decision.
Erich Pratt, Senior Vice President for GOA, explained that the gun rights group sued New York State because it violated a SCOTUS ruling. He and the organization believe it is proper for the high court to step in and vacate the Circuit Court’s stay. Pratt said:
“Governor Hochul and state lawmakers wasted no time in passing legislation that completely contradicted the Bruen precedent, and we urge the High Court to once again hold the state accountable for violating the Second Amendment rights of their own citizens.”
Sam Paredes, on behalf of the Board of Directors for the Gun Owners Foundation, added:
“We have said it before, and we’ll say it again: states must come into compliance with Bruen, or we will make you.”
The plaintiffs, New York State, and gun owners will now have to wait and see how SCOTUS responds.
About John Crump
John is a NRA instructor and a constitutional activist. John has written about firearms, interviewed people of all walks of life, and on the Constitution. John lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and sons and can be followed on Twitter at @crumpyss, or at www.crumpy.com.