A federal district judge has temporarily blocked multiple sections of New York’s new concealed carry law on the eve of Election Day.
Judge Glenn T. Suddaby of Syracuse ruled that the state can still prevent people from carrying guns in Times Square, public playgrounds, libraries, nurseries and preschools. But mental hospitals, places of worship, public parks, zoos, theaters, conference centers, protests and bars are no longer off limits. A section of the law barring permit holders from carrying guns in other “restricted locations” was blocked as well.
The judge also ruled that permit applicants should not be required to prove that they have “good moral character,” provide names and contact information for their partners and roommates or provide a list of their social media accounts from the last three years.
In a 184-page decision, Suddaby said that the plaintiffs — six New Yorkers who hope to obtain concealed carry permits — had “made a strong showing that they will likely experience irreparable harm” if the law is allowed to stand.
Lawmakers passed the Concealed Carry Improvement Act over the summer after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a law that had limited New Yorker’s access to firearms outside of their homes for more than a century. Gov. Kathy Hochul signed it into law just days after the ruling.
At least eight lawsuits have been filed challenging the legislation in the months since. Hochul had been named as a plaintiff in the lawsuit at the center of Monday’s rulings, but Suddaby dropped her name from the case.
Attorney General Letitia James’ office, which is defending the law in court, had asked the judge to either apply the ruling only to the six people who brought the suit, or to pause its effects for at least three business days, so that it would have time to appeal. Suddaby denied that request, meaning that, at least for now, the state cannot enforce certain aspects of the law.
Still, this is just one of many twists in the legal maze taking shape as officials in favor of stronger gun safety laws go up against second amendment supporters who hope to make it easier for New Yorkers to exercise their constitutional rights. A higher court blocked a similar ruling by the same judge last month.
A spokesperson for the attorney general’s office said in a text message that it is reviewing the decision and considering its options.