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 FPCLegal.org.
“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 JoinFPC.org. 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 FPCLegal.org and follow FPC on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube.