New York Attorney General Letitia James
New York Attorney General Letitia James (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
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The poison fruits of New York’s one-party-rule hoplophobic hissy fit of a gun control law that was enacted after the state lost bigly in the landmark Bruen case continue to be plucked from the gun control tree. Yesterday a New York District Court judge issued a restraining order blocking the state from enforcing its ban on carrying firearms in churches, synagogues and other houses of worship.

District Court Judge John Sinatra, Jr. didn’t leave much to the imagination when he wrote . . .

The complaint and motion in this case focus solely on one aspect of the new legislation, namely, the portion making it a felony for such a license holder to possess a firearm at “any place of worship or religious observation.”

Ample Supreme Court precedent addressing the individual’s right to keep and bear arms — from Heller and McDonald to its 2022 decision in Bruen — dictates New York’s new place of worship restriction is equally unconstitutional. 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. 

That should be clear enough that even great legal minds like Kathy Hochul and Letitia James can understand the underlying reasoning.

Just in case, Hizzoner undertook a nice analysis of the Heller, McDonald and Bruen decisions that informed his conclusion that New York’s ban is patently unconstitutional. If you’d like the read his ruling, it’s here.

For those who are still having difficulty accepting the new legal landscape in which we live after the Bruen decision, Judge Sinatra wrote this . . .

Hardaway and Boyd are ordinary, law-abiding citizens to which the Second Amendment applies. As it did for the petitioners in Bruen, the Second Amendment’s plain text presumptively guarantees Plaintiffs’ right to “bear” arms in public for self-defense — and it does so as well at places of worship, which are open to all comers. The next question is whether the State has met its historical burden. It has not. 

When a “challenged regulation addresses a general societal problem that has persisted since the 18th century, the lack of a distinctly similar historical regulation addressing it is relevant evidence that the challenged regulation is inconsistent with the Second Amendment.” New York’s law here concerns the same alleged societal problem addressed in Heller: “handgun violence,” primarily in “urban area[s].” And, as in Bruen, there is no such tradition in the historical materials that the State has “brought to bear on that question.” …

In sum, the Nation’s history does not countenance such an incursion into the right to keep and bear arms across all places of worship across the state. The right to self-defense is no less important and no less recognized at these places. The Constitution requires that individuals be permitted to use handguns for the core lawful purpose of self-defense. And it protects that right outside the home and in public. 

Well OK then.

Here’s the Firearms Policy Coalition’s press release doin the happy dance after such a clear and unambiguous victory (though keep in mind, the case isn’t over yet) . . .

Today, Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) announced that United States District Judge John Sinatra, Jr. has issued a temporary restraining order against New York’s ban on guns in “any place of worship or religious observation.” The order in Hardaway v. Bruen, which is effective immediately, can be viewed at

“The Constitution requires that individuals be permitted to use handguns for the core lawful purpose of self-defense,” wrote Judge Sinatra in his opinion. “And it protects that right outside the home and in public. Nothing in the Nation’s history or traditions presumptively closes the door on that right across every place of worship or religious observation. As in Bruen, where the Court stated that, ‘[n]othing in the Second Amendment’s text draws a home/public distinction with respect to the right to keep and bear arms,’ nothing there casts outside of its protection places of worship or religious observation. New York’s exclusion violates ‘the general right to publicly carry arms for self-defense.’ It, too, is one of the policy choices taken ‘off the table’ by the Second Amendment.”

“Today another court blocked an unconstitutional gun law, this time the ‘places of worship’ carry ban New York imposed as punishment for the Bruen decision,” said FPC Director of Legal Operations Bill Sack. “Today, the Court recognized what we have long argued: That no one should be forced to forgo one constitutional right in order to exercise another.”

FPC is joined in this lawsuit by the Second Amendment Foundation.

Individuals who would like to Join the FPC Grassroots Army and support important pro-rights lawsuits and programs can sign up at Individuals and organizations wanting to support charitable efforts in support of the restoration of Second Amendment and other natural rights can also make a tax-deductible donation to the FPC Action Foundation. For more on FPC’s lawsuits and other pro-Second Amendment initiatives, visit and follow FPC on InstagramTwitterFacebookYouTube.

Firearms Policy Coalition (, a 501(c)4 nonprofit organization, exists to create a world of maximal human liberty, defend constitutionally protected rights, advance individual liberty, and restore freedom. FPC’s efforts are focused on the Right to Keep and Bear Arms and adjacent issues including freedom of speech, due process, unlawful searches and seizures, separation of powers, asset forfeitures, privacy, encryption, and limited government. The FPC team are next-generation advocates working to achieve the Organization’s strategic objectives through litigation, research, scholarly publications, amicus briefing, legislative and regulatory action, grassroots activism, education, outreach, and other programs.

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  1. I hope the court pointed out that forbidding law-abiding citizens from CC in churches is also a violation of the 1st Amendment freedom of religion. Especially if the minister/priest/rabbi wants to allow guns, but the state takes that choice away from him (hmm, I thought Democrats were supposed to be all about “freedom of choice”, but I guess they’re hypocrites about that, too!)

    • The only freedom that non-libs have is the “freedom” to comply with their dictates. “Anything not permitted is specifically forbidden”. Huxley

      • It should be obvious by now…Pompous above the law democRats all across America do as they please and never factor in the US Constitution.
        After all in the demented minds of Gun Control democRats you worker ants are expendable and if something violent happens to you and yours big government will take you to a hospital or a morgue.
        In the minds of democRats sitting high above the fray it’s the cycle of life…your unarmed life.

      • If my state is operating at it’s usual level of competence/respect of constitutional law this will be appealed until it is 2nd circuit or all the way to the SC so may get it knocked out for you through tyrannical stupidity.

        • Our security team is about 1/4 of the entire week-to-week congregation, so in effect, the ban was completely irrelevant, since the official representative of the diocese (our priest, and kick-ass lawyer 🙂 ) had no problem with us carrying…

  2. The one glaring fact that gun control people overlook is, a law abiding citizen in possession of a firearm, especially a concealed firearm, means nothing to anyone around that armed citizen. Millions of us handle firearms every day, and nothing happens to us, or around us.

    Firearms in churches? Old guy in the third row nods off every Sunday, causes no problems, leaves an offering, and goes his merry way. He’s been packing heat every Sunday for 40 years, and NO ONE KNOWS IT!! It’s a meaningless fact, an unkown meaningless fact, to all the hundreds, or even thousands of his fellow church members.

    Maybe the pastor knows. Maybe two or three of his closest friends know. Probably his wife knows. But it’s all unknown meaningless nonsense to all the other members of the church.

    Only if, God forbid, some nutcase comes rampaging into the church to wreak havoc, will anyone know. Then, everyone will be praising God, and thanking the old guy for his preparedness. Only if SHTF unexpectedly will people know, and only then will it matter to any of them.

    • “The one glaring fact that gun control people overlook is, a law abiding citizen in possession of a firearm, especially a concealed firearm, means nothing to anyone around that armed citizen.”

      They do not overlook, they consider any person with a gun as evil. Period. And Hochul let the cat out of the bag on that one when she clearly stated she doesn’t need any data on CC’ers being the most law abiding, WE AND OUR GUNS are the problem. To keep NYers safe she needs to eliminate us and our guns.

  3. Lunatics attack churches because they believe that it’s a target rich environment. ( and rightfully so in most cases ) People all lined up, in deep thought, or listening to sermon, or singing and not paying attention to their surrounding. This is exactly why I carry a firearm everywhere I go, including church. I watch the entrance, notice who comes and goes. There are lots of sick people who just want to hurt others for no reason.

    • “Lunatics attack churches because they believe that it’s a target rich environment.”

      They will get a very ugly surprise if they try that at my church, since 3 or so congregants will be mag-dumping on their asses… 🙂

  4. I do not agree that they have great minds, the problem is they have evil minds. they need to get God back into their lives and our society especially in New York and California which are turning into Sodom and Gomorrah. it’s about time that some of the judges stand up for our rights and the Constitution.

        • No, it’s very Christian of you to pluck the beam from our own eyes rather than the mote frome theirs. It’s sad that we must begin to realize how deeply evil and driven by Satan these Progressives have become.
          We’re commanded to “Turn the other cheek,” but our cheeks are past sore, and the Evil that’s being done can no longer be tolerated or ignored.
          God bless you for being a better Christian than I, because I can no longer see them as redeamable.

  5. There’s a bunch of folks carrying gats at my large Baptist church in nw Indiana. Cops,security team member’s & churchgoers. As well as the huge Spanish speaking contingent. No problems I’m aware of. Then again it’s Indiana where guns are the norm & they don’t tolerate stuff. Yes they have a homeless ministry & are welcoming to vagabonds and panhandler types as well. Slap NYC down. They deserve it…

    • By this time next week we should have the other case that had the TRO drama heard (starts either the 24th or 25th) then likely up to the second circuit.

  6. Church members don’t shoot up in churches, it’s hate-filled a-holes that walk into churches and open fire…

  7. Glad to see that federal judges in these liberal jurisdictions are deciding to obey the Bruen dictates. We are still waiting for decisions in the Ninth. It will be interesting to see what the Circuit Courts do with these cases, especially the Second and the Ninth, as those two have issued the most twisted decisions with illogical rationals in order to uphold anti-gun legislation.

    • I figure they are busy looking through American history of the late 1700s hoping they can find something to exploit.

      Keep digging, boys and girls, because it ain’t there for you to find. Pointless busy-work for Leftist Scum ™ policy-wonks is an official Martha Stuart “Good Thing”… 🙂

      • They are hinging their gun control schemes on long-abandoned racist and anti-religious laws meant to keep arms put of the hands of various kinds of “undesirables.” When backed against a wall, leftists always reveal themselves for who they truly are: unapologetic bigots.

  8. So, is this incentive for other states to challenge their concealed carry laws which forbid concealed carry in churches?

    • Wait what? Other states had carry in churches banned before we did our dumb law? Next you will tell me you couldn’t carry in bars (if not dwi or worse).

      • I believe multiple other states prohibit (or at least until very recently prohibited) concealed carry in churches.

      • SAFEupstateFML,

        Well, to be technical, about 7 other states prohibit concealed carry in churches by default–although it is possible to carry legally if you first get permission from the church.

        You can imagine that this condition might as well be a ban in some states or areas since some churches will not allow concealed carry–which totally violates their own faith. Such is the current state of affairs.

  9. Then there’s the unspoken “rest of the story…”

    Even IF there had been some ban on carry in churches or other sensitive places back then, IF someone entered one these places and committed murder, they would have been ‘hung by the neck until they were dead’ within just a few days after their heinous crime.

    It’s only our relatively recent pandering of violent criminals – almost always eventually returning them to the streets to murder again – that exacerbates the problem of restricting the law-abiding from carrying for their own protection in spaces where a murderer is able to physically carry/smuggle a gun.

  10. So the one place you can legally carry in New York now is a church. If you can bribe your way in to a carry license, that is.

    • Well… churches and also “probably some streets.” The Wicked Witch of the North decreed it so.

      The CCIA is going down in flames, bit by bit. The rest of NY’s gun control regime will follow shortly thereafter. Leftists overreached and are going to pay dearly for it. Good times.


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