The forces of civilian disarmament aren’t having an easy time of it these days. It’s been particularly rough going in the Empire State. After ramming through punitively restrictive laws limiting concealed carry following the Bruen decision, Governor Kathy Hochul’s legislative temper tantrum (AKA, the Concealed Carry Improvement Act) has taken some serious hits.
Last week, a judge granted an application for a temporary restraining order blocking enforcement of the based on the likelihood that many parts of the law including the ban on carry in “sensitive places” are unconstitutional. He agreed to keep the law in place, however, while the state appeals the ruling.
Now the Second Amendment Foundation has filed suit challenging the law’s ban on carry in churches. This is in addition to a similar challenge last week from a Brooklyn congregation seeking the right to carry in synagogues. Here’s the SAF’s press release . . .
The Second Amendment Foundation today filed suit in federal court challenging the new concealed carry statute in New York State that, among other things, prohibits concealed carry in churches.
Joining SAF in this legal action are the Firearms Policy Coalition, Inc. and two private citizens, Bishop Larry A. Boyd of Buffalo and Rev. Dr. Jimmie Hardaway, Jr., of Niagara Falls. The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York.
Defendants are State Police Supt. Kevin P. Bruen, Niagara County District Attorney Brian D. Seaman, and Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn, all in their official capacities. The case is known as Hardaway v. Bruen.
The 23-page federal complaint says Hardaway and Boyd “are leaders of their respective churches, who wish to exercise their fundamental, individual right to bear arms in public for self-defense” and for the safety of their congregants, but are prohibited from doing so because the state law prevents them from doing so.
“Here is yet another example of the sweeping irrationality of New York’s hastily-slapped-together law, which was obviously written to allow the state to dance around the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “One would think by now the state would have wised up and changed its law to comply with not only the letter of the high court ruling, but the spirit in which the decision was written.
“Instead,” he continued, “New York officials are determined to fight progress, not to mention the Supreme Court’s common sense, by engaging in legal acrobatics that promise to mire the state in federal lawsuits for the foreseeable future. The right of self-defense is the oldest human right, and New York’s law is written to frustrate the exercise of that right at every turn.”
Plaintiffs are represented by attorneys David H. Thompson, Peter A. Patterson and John W. Tienken with Cooper & Kirk, PLLC in Washington, D.C., and Nicolas J. Rotsko at Phillips Lytle, LLP in Buffalo.