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Certain Aspects of New York Gun Law Blocked by Federal Appeals Court

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On Friday, a federal appeals court blocked enforcement of three parts of the New York gun law. The law was focused on carrying concealed firearms and was met with legal battles from its inception. The court partially left in place lower-court orders freezing enforcement of the concealed-carry law while allowing most other aspects of the law to take effect. The appeals court blocked the requirements from gunowners to submit a list of former and current social media accounts for the past three years. It also eliminated part of the law that banned carrying firearms at private property open to the general public. Furthermore, the enforcement of a provision that banned firearms at places of worship was frozen for one group of plaintiffs that sued, stating that it substantially burdens their right to the free exercise of religion. The opinion from the appeals court warned that its decision was not conclusive and that the laws might be reinstated after further examination by lower courts. The decision largely left other requirements of the law in place, such as an in-person meeting with a licensing officer and four character references attesting to a person’s good moral character. Supporters of the law were pleased by the decision to keep much of the measure enforceable by the state. New York Attorney General Letitia James applauded the decision, while New York Governor Kathy Hochul called the legislation nation-leading. They said that the laws were put in place to keep guns out of dangerous hands and away from sensitive and public locations. Both promised to continue defending New York’s gun laws and using every tool to protect New Yorkers from gun violence.

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