Last month, a US District Court judge issued a temporary restraining order blocking enforcement of New York’s newly-enacted ban on carrying firearms in houses of worship. As Judge John Sinatra, Jr. wrote at the time . . .
In Bruen, the Supreme Court made the Second Amendment test crystal clear: regulation in this area is permissible only if he government demonstrates that the regulation is consistent with the Nation’s historical tradition of sufficiently analogous regulations. As set forth below, New York fails that test. The state’s conclusion is, instead, inconsistent with the Nation’s historical traditions, impermissibly infringing on the right to keep and bear arms in public for self-defense.
None of he state’s arguments since he issued the TRO have changed Judge Sinatra’s view of New York’s law. Last night, he issued a preliminary injunction, further ensuring that New Yorkers are free to carry firearms for self-defense in churches, synagogues, temples and mosques.
Justifying his issuance of the injunction, Judge Sinatra noted that . . .
A preliminary injunction would…serve the public interest of fostering self-defense at places of worship across the state. The public has a significant interest in the “strong sense of safety that a licensed concealed handgun regularly provides, or would provide, to the many law-abiding responsible citizens in the state too powerful to physically defend themselves in public without a handgun.” … Absent a preliminary injunction, the challenged law creates a vulnerable population of attendees at places of worship left to the whims of potential armed wrongdoers who are uninterested in following the law in any event. A preliminary injuction would, therefore, be in the public interest.
Judge Sinatra also denied the state’s request that the injunction be stayed for three days pending appeal.
The Second Amendment Foundation issued this statement after the judge issued his order . . .
The Second Amendment Foundation has won a preliminary injunction against enforcement of a New York State ban on firearms in places of worship, with U.S. District Court Judge John L. Sinatra, Jr., declaring, “Plaintiffs’ constitutional rights are being violated…”
“We are gratified with the speed shown by the court in this matter,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “It shows the court is taking this case very seriously.”
The case is known as Jimmie Hardaway, Jr. et.al. v. Steven A. Nigrelli, et.al. SAF and its fellow plaintiffs are represented by attorneys Nicolas J. Rotsko at Phillips Lytle LLP in Buffalo, NY, and David H. Thompson, Peter A. Patterson and John W. Tienken at Cooper & Kirk, PLLC in Washington, D.C. Joining SAF in this case are the Firearms Policy Coalition and two private citizens, Larry A. Boyd and Jimmie Hardaway, Jr.
In his 44-page ruling, Judge Sinatra noted New York’s new place of worship restriction is unconstitutional. The state has not demonstrated that the prohibition, under its newly enacted gun law, adopted in reaction to the Supreme Court ruling in the Bruen case, that the ban is “consistent with the nation’s historical tradition of sufficiently analogous regulations.”
“The State’s exclusion is, instead, inconsistent with the Nation’s historical traditions, impermissibly infringing on the right to keep and bear arms in public for self-defense,” Judge Sinatra wrote.
“Clearly,” Gottlieb observed, “the court is not allowing New York to dance around the intent or the spirit of the Supreme Court’s ruling in the Bruen case, which is exactly what the state was trying to do with its new gun control law.“