New York Governor Hochul
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (AP Photo/Jeenah Moon)
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After Bruen, a notable noncomplier is New York Governor Kathy Hochul. She also follows in the footsteps of her predecessor, Andrew Cuomo. Both passed their big gun control bills by sending a “message of necessity”—a maneuver to prevent legislative hearings and to deprive legislators of time to read a bill before they vote on it. As the New York State Sheriffs’ Association explained:

The new firearms law language first saw the light of day on a Friday morning and was signed into law Friday afternoon. A parliamentary ruse was used to circumvent the requirement in our State Constitution that Legislators—and the public—must have three days to study and discuss proposed legislation before it can be taken up for a vote. The Legislature’s leadership claimed, and the Governor agreed, that it was a “necessity” to pass the Bill immediately, without waiting the Constitutionally required three days, even though the law would not take effect for two full months.

The Sheriffs’ Association criticized “thoughtless, reactionary action, just to make a political statement,” and “the burdensome, costly, and unworkable nature of many of the new laws’ provisions.” “We do not support punitive licensing requirements that aim only to restrain and punish law-abiding citizens who wish to exercise their Second Amendment rights.”

The New York county clerks had no opinion on gun policy but focused instead on workability. As the Association of Clerks wrote to the governor, “[i]n haste to pass the new regulations as a reaction to the recent United States Supreme Court ruling, the process as it stands now will be riddled with complex, confusing and redundant barriers of compliance.”

But the governor was moving too fast to care about reality. A reporter asked her, “do you have the numbers to show that it’s the concealed carry permit holders that are committing crimes?” She answered, “I don’t need to have numbers. I don’t have to have a data point to point to to say this is going to matter.” Where will concealed carry permit holders be allowed to carry? “Probably some streets,” she explained. This directly contradicts Bruen’s rule that “expanding the category of ‘sensitive places’ simply to all places of public congregation that are not isolated from law enforcement defines the category . . . far too broadly.”

Yet the first reason why the new New York law is unconstitutional has nothing to do with the right to bear arms. The law designates an enormous variety of places as “sensitive locations.” Not only does the law prohibit concealed carry licensees from bringing their guns into these locations, the law makes felons of proprietors, owners, and employees who simply possess arms in the location. Thus, a doctor who runs her own practice cannot have a handgun in a lock box in her office. A church cannot have volunteer security guards, such as the former police officer who thwarted a mass shooter at the New Life Church in Colorado Springs in 2007. The same goes for every school of any level, government or independent, regardless of what school wants.

Under the new law, licensed carry is also banned in all forms of public transportation, including in one’s own car on a ferry. All these restrictions defy Bruen’s rule that “new” (emphasis in original) types of “sensitive places” may be authorized by analogy to sensitive places from the nineteenth century and before. Ferries, churches, and doctors’ offices are not “new,” nor are restaurants with a liquor license that serve meals to customers who don’t order drinks. Nor are entertainment facilities. Firearms possession is also forbidden at “any gathering of individuals to collectively express their constitutional rights to protest or assemble.” In other words, if two dozen members of the county branch of New York’s Conservative Party gather anywhere (even in a private home) for a meeting, they may not protect themselves.

Beyond the enumerated list of sensitive locations, bringing a gun into any building is a felony, unless the owner has posted a permission sign or granted express permission. And permit applicants must submit “a list of former and current social media accounts of the applicant from the past three years.” 

In California, S.B. 918, presently before the legislature, would expand no-carry areas in a manner similar to New York’s. For the time being, California Attorney General Rob Bonta has urged county sheriffs to apply the statutory “good moral character” on the model of the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department: “Legal judgments of good moral character can include . . . absence of hatred and racism, fiscal stability[.]” The attorney general added that “social media accounts” were fair game for inquiry. Further, denials could be based on “[a]ny arrest in the last five years, regardless of the disposition,” or any conviction in the last seven.

UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh suggests that it is plainly unconstitutional to deny the exercise of constitutional rights because of an arrest without a conviction. Likewise, under the First Amendment, “[t]he government can’t restrict ordinary citizens’ actions—much less their constitutionally protected actions—based on the viewpoints that they express.” For example, some people, such as followers of author Robin DiAngelo, believe that white people are inherently and irredeemably toxic. Other people, such as many in Hollywood, express hatred of conservatives. Wrongful as these views might be, under the First Amendment they are not a lawful basis for government retaliation. Volokh is also skeptical about the denial of rights for “[l]ack of ‘fiscal stability’—which may simply mean being very poor or insolvent.” Indeed, poor people are generally at greater risk of criminal attack than are wealthier people.

— David Kopel in Restoring the Right to Bear Arms: New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen

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43 COMMENTS

    • As soon as CA’s AB918 is signed into law by Newsom, I myself will have standing to challenge it. The entire reason why I applied for my CCW, paid the outrageous fees, and waited more than an entire year, was because I was encouraged by multiple LAPD and LASD LEOs to do so for the benefit of my church’s volunteer security team. It is spurious for a government agency to take my money and then turn around and deny me the terms for which I paid. I’ll call Michele & Associates and offer to be a representative plaintiff.

      • Go for it. The sensitive places restrictions are so broad, as Kopel and Volokh conclude, so as to be blatantly unconstitutional, and in direct contradiction to the SCOTUS statement that NY could not designate the entire island of Manhattan as a “sensitive place, and clearly intended as a thumb in the eye to the Supreme Court and Justice Thomas. As I read the law, the only place one can legally carry concealed is on your own property, on property with the permission of the owner, and out in the street. (I have to go back and look to see if the former allowance of unlicensed concealed carry in unincorporated areas (such as state and national forests) is still valid, but since it is still, for the time being, legal to hunt, I have to assume it is.)

        The NY law has already been challenged, and the California law will be challenged the day it is signed.

        • “The sensitive places restrictions are so broad, as Kopel and Volokh conclude, so as to be blatantly unconstitutional, and in direct contradiction to the SCOTUS statement that NY could not designate the entire island of Manhattan as a “sensitive place, and clearly intended as a thumb in the eye to the Supreme Court and Justice Thomas.”

          This is what I’m currently having a hard time wrapping my head around.

          The ‘Bruen’ decision was a clear *warning* to the political Left that they *really* don’t want to have the current SCotUS bench set the terms of the extent of the 2A’s reach.

          Thomas will take great delight in making them wish they didn’t drop such a case in his lap. I can easily see Thomas saying carry can’t happen in courts, schools, prisons, airport boarding areas, and that’s it.

          EVERYWHERE else will be fair game.

          Are they really that fucking stupid to tempt fate like that?

          (A VERY big part of me hopes that they are that stupid, quite frankly…) 😉

  1. The Post-Bruen New York and California Punitive Gun Control Laws are Clearly Unconstitutional

    Uh, Duh. EXACTLY their point. The left doesn’t care.

    • The problem for them and us is there is a large apathetic/uninvolved percentage of the population that still think the idealized version of America exists to some extent and that the justice system is functional. If they go full commie they may have issues with crowd control. If they don’t we may have issues with convincing enough people there is a problem to matter.

      • “a large apathetic/uninvolved percentage of the population that still think…the justice system is functional.”

        It doesn’t help that we have Rs like Sen. Tim Scott perpetuating this myth. While discussing the Trump FBI raid, he said, “It’s important to let the process play out.” WTH?? Remember when these same fools assured us that Robert Mueller was a good cop, and he would get to the bottom of that Russia stuff? “Let the process play out.” Democrats wouldn’t stand for either of those for a second because they know how to fight! We’re in a fight. Some people just don’t know it yet (or don’t care). Tim Scott, and every lukewarm person like him, needs to go ASAP. We need fighters.

        • The very real risk they run is allowing a circuit ruling to be appealed for a writ of cert. by the High court.

          What do think St.Thomas would do with a tempting morsel of raw red meat like that in his in-basket?

          Yeah, teach them another lesson they’ll never forget… 🙂

        • I think the Wicked Witch of the North is going to have her arrogant contempt for NY gun owners shoved back in her face good and hard. How will the state defend ANY of the new restrictions? Virtually all of them fall afoul of long established constitutional law (not even including Bruen). Undoing this law will create plenty of precedent to upend the rest. Look for a complete unravelling of NY’s gun control regime in the near future. If the fascists had been content to just take the L and meekly adjust NY’s permitting law per Bruen, they probably could have kept the rest of their illegal gun utopia intact for several more years. But leftists are stupid, and so they’ll get what they deserve instead.

  2. She answered, “I don’t need to have numbers. I don’t have to have a data point to point to to say this is going to matter.”

    I completely agree. It absolutely DOES matter. It matters greatly. That in fact IS the whole point in this conversation. Because it very much matters.

    • It would have mattered when the 2A test was a balancing test for government compelling interest. That’s no longer the test, per Bruen. Whether she has numbers or not (she doesn’t) is now completely irrelevant. Text, history, and tradition, period. The law is unconstitutional on its face, and all we’re doing is waiting for the courts to put out the press release.

      (Still, it would be nice if leftists had just a tiny bit of shame, enough to at least attempt to rationalize their evil works…)

  3. Meanwhile the hypocrite pos hochul enjoys armed security where ever she goes. Rest assured hochul won’t be the one enforcing her insanity it will be her goon squad following orders like nazis and the kkk followed orders…what filth.

  4. As Bezmenov described, demoralization was a necessary first step. They’ve been taught to despise the Constitution. They don’t care that it’s unconstitutional. They don’t have the same basic moral values and principles that you have. Our traditional power structures have been destroyed. It isn’t a coincidence that they want to destroy the family and traditional religion and replace it with their versions. They’re using public grade schools to indoctrinate the next generations into their woke religion. Look at the amount of people who identify as LGBetc by age group. Do the math.

    • “They’re using public grade schools to indoctrinate the next generations into their woke religion.”

      Been happening for at least 30 years, to some extent.

      The weird thing is, it isn’t sticking. Conservative-minded households are doing a good job of countering that indoctrination. We’re treading water, but we’re not being drowned out. Yet.

      That has to really piss them off to no end… 🙂

      • “The weird thing is, it isn’t sticking.”

        I teach college undergraduates. I hate to say it, but the woke ideology is sticking. It’s everywhere, and these are the people who will be running the country in 20 years. Conservatives might not be very susceptible, but everyone else definitely is. No one wants to be a bad person, and that desire to do good – to be accepting of people – is what the leftists distort and weaponize.

        The only hope is the growing pushback that is starting to develop. If we can make woke ideology into a pariah and show how it has nothing to do with being a good person (quite the opposite) we have a chance to “unstick” some folks. It might be happening…

  5. Find an obscure law in the historical record. Call it analagous today. Creativity of course. Done, law upheld by the political operatives in the court system. Wait and see.

    • “Find an obscure law in the historical record. Call it analagous today.”

      We can play that same game with them.

      Considering the stakes, do they really want to tempt fate again like that with Thomas?

      I’m banking some of them will be that stupid… 🙂

  6. Welcome to locked in democratic control. At least now we have a way to try to undo the damage.

    • I don’t think that they (or us, for that matter) fully understand the depth of the ramifications of the ‘Bruen’ ruling.

      Should make for some entertaining fireworks to behold as time passes… 🙂

    • So does California, and there is a video of one California Legislator saying, in essence, that the Legislature doesn’t bother with the Constitution.

  7. All the gun owners that wish to carry their firearms for protection should simply do what the Mayor and Governor are doing…just ignore the edicts that New York Governor Kathy Hochul issues and go ahead and carry, with logical restraint of course.

  8. And this surprises who exactly? it’s been proven time and time again that nothing is really illegal if someone high enough in the government food chain authorizes it. Sure you can sue in civil court and maybe win but it’s a classic case of heads I win/tails you lose.

  9. Nuremberg 2.0. When people like bloomberg, biden, pelosi, gates. dacian, miner49er are being offered a blindfold justice will have returned to America.

    And we’ve already established that ‘I was just following orders’ is not a legal defense.

  10. “New York and California Punitive Gun Control Laws are Clearly Unconstitutional”

    Whenever somebody tells me that something is “clearly” this or “clearly” that, it really means that they want me to stop thinking and just accept their statement as true.

    In this case, I have thought about it, and Frau Hochul’s and Governor Hairgel’s new laws stink like fish on ice. Courts should agree, but if you believe in courts, then you are “clearly” nuts.

  11. The reason new gun control laws in NY and CA are unconstitutional is because those laws are in NY and CA.

    Congress has the power to create new states. Wonder if they have power to throw states off the island?

      • “Can they just break them up into small states?”

        IIRC, citizens of a state can appeal to the state for creation of a new state. The state must agree, then apply to congress to release the territory requested by people wanting a new state. Congress must then agree to create a new state.

        A coupla years ago, there were five districts agitating for new statehood. Calif refused. Interestingly, each of the five proposed states was anchored on, and out populated by major cities controlled by dems. While the alleged motivation for the proposed states was to “get away” from Californication, the result was likely to be ten new dem senators.

  12. Since when does the constitution mean nothing to politicians?

    If it’s politically expedient, sometimes they will posture themselves alongside it, for a little while, while everyone is looking.

    They actually do whatever they want, eventually.

    With no meaningful repurcussions.

  13. Well, I mean most (if not all) firearms laws on the books are unconstitutional, but that’s not stopped them from making more.

    Let’s be real here, most people in power only recognize the existing laws recognizing and enshrining the rights of the populace when it suits them, when it doesn’t, they patently ignore them. It’s been like this throughout the history of mankind, everywhere. This is what happens when you grant one the power over another.

    Here’s one for you: Every single genocide in history was the result of democide. I’ll let you google that one.

  14. New York laughed in the face of the Supreme Court and was only doing what the old NFA act did years ago and that was to make a person jump through so many hoops and spend so much money and time to get a machine gun that most people did not even bother to try.

    New York will not throw in the towel even if part of their restrictions are eventually overturned and it will probably take decades of court battles do do it and of course they will then just invent more ways to restrict where and how a person can carry a handgun.

    And New York could even make it legal only to carry single shot pistol , that fires a projectile of less than 300 fps. There is no end to New York’s limitless and conniving ways to ban concealed carry.

    The good news is that with the new current anti-carry law you can still carry a gun in your bathroom providing you can even get a permit to do so.

    • Dacian That sounds like you are expressing that government is not constrained and has become over bearing. This something you must really find arousing? Did you give Biden your safe word?

    • dacian, the Dunderhead. Clearly you failed to read the Bruen decision. New York’s actions are clearly a violation of that decision and should be found to be in Contempt of Court.

  15. The Post-Bruen New York and California Punitive Gun Control Laws are Clearly Unconstitutional

    AND???

  16. If you’re going to quote most of the article, just link it. QOTD is getting too big for its britches!

  17. @napresto
    “How will the state defend ANY of the new restrictions? ”

    How will the 2A defender organizations be able to pay for law suits challenging each and every defiance by federal, state and local authorities?

    The only remedy that might, might work is for the SC to declare the Second Amendment absolute. Even that will be defied. And the defiant individuals will not pay a personal price.

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