New York State Attorney General Letitia James has asked a federal appeals court judge to continue a gun ban in “sensitive places” like the New York City subways and Times Square while a lawsuit challenging restrictions on where people with gun permits can carry weapons winds its way through the courts.
The rules for carrying guns in New York were first called into question after a U.S. Supreme Court decision in June that effectively negated a state law that required people to have “proper cause” – such as a specific need for self defense – to carry a concealed firearm.
State leaders responded to that ruling by passing the Concealed Carry Improvement Act, a series of measures that sought to push back against the newly loosened gun laws by requiring people to prove they have "good moral character" and the “temperament and judgment necessary … to use (a gun) only in a manner that does not endanger oneself or others,” to get a permit. It also bars people from carrying guns in so-called sensitive places, like on public transit or in Times Square.
A national firearm organization, Gun Owners of America, filed a lawsuit seeking to strike down the new state laws. Last week, the organization scored a victory when U.S. District Judge Glenn Suddaby of Syracuse issued a temporary restraining order prohibiting many of the state’s new concealed carry laws from being enforced while the case was being litigated.
James has asked that a judge consider her request for a stay Tuesday, before Suddaby’s order goes into effect Wednesday.
“This common-sense gun control legislation is critical in our state’s effort to reduce gun violence,” James said in a statement.
Erich Pratt, senior vice president of the Gun Owners of America, said in an statement that his group will continue to fight.
“Not surprisingly, the anti-gunners in New York appear hellbent on wasting taxpayer dollars to continue defending their patently unconstitutional gun control law. We will continue to fight back, until those in Albany recognize that their citizens' rights shall not be infringed."