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Tipsheet

New York Gun Law Keeps Getting Struck Down

AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, Pool

New York's anti-gun legislation has been caught up in lawsuits so much that it's been hard to keep track. Madeline has covered the lawsuits surrounding a state law that banned guns in "sensitive" places, including places of worship. Last month, U.S. District Judge John Sinatra issued a temporary restraining order against a part of the law. Last week, Judge Sinatra blocked yet another part of the law, in this case one that has to do with restricting guns on private property.

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Law professor Jonathan Turley highlighted the case in tweets and a blog post from last Wednesday, to which he included a link to the preliminary injunction

As Turley laid out:

The new decision comes from Judge John Sinatra (W.D.N.Y.) in Christian v. Nigrelli: where the court ruled that the private property exclusion violates the Second Amendment.

The state might have been able to reinforce an important right of private business owners to exclude guns with a reasonable drafting of the law. Instead, it sought to use the issue to effectively ban guns from “sensitive” and privately owned areas.

Gov. Kathy Hochul again made the case against her own state in ill-considered comments where she proclaimed that S51001 “makes ‘no carry’ the default for private property” by “establish[ing] that private property owners must expressly allow a person to possess a firearm, rifle, or shotgun on their property[.]” That default is the problem.

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A key takeaway from Turley's points made in the excerpt above highlights how overconfident Gov. Kathy Hochul (D-NY) and the New York Democratic lawmakers are who put together such legislation. For as much as Turley highlights throughout his blog post, including before the above excepts, how Democrats "circle the firing squad again," he does highlight above that, with added emphasis, they "might have been able to reinforce an important right of private business owners to exclude guns with a reasonable drafting of the law." That's not the direction they took, though. 

Do they want such laws to get struck down? It's worth asking. Otherwise, what is the point of crafting and signing into law a bill that may send their anti-gun message, but doesn't have enough legal muster to stand. 

As Turley highlighted in his blog post, which Madeline also included in previous reports, the law being struck down was signed by Hochul in direct response to New York facing an even greater loss when it comes to New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. Bruen, a 6-3 decision at the U.S. Supreme Court which was handed down back in late June.

The blog post began by highlighting:

I have previously written about how New York has proven time and time again as the gift that keeps on giving for the National Rifle Association (NRA) and gun-rights groups. New York Democrats continue to pass laws that are virtually guaranteed to be struck down and further reinforce Second Amendment rights. The latest provision involves the possible criminal prosecution for possessing a gun on private property if the owner has not approved such possession on the premises.

New York Democrats have passed a series of laws that led to catastrophic losses in federal court, including the recent major ruling in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc. v. Bruen. This includes openly gaming litigation to the irritation of individual justices.

After each loss, the same politicians circle the firing squad again and pass the next round of questionable gun limits. New York Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul promised such legislation within an hour of the release of Bruen.  It passed with the help of a special session in the resumption of this inexorable cycle and has already resulted in court losses. Now there is a new such ruling against the law.

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New York Democrats certainly do have a penchant for harping on gun control. Hochul and New York City Mayor Eric Adams have tied the rising crime pretty much exclusively to guns, especially during the recent election earlier this month. Gov. Hochul just narrowly beat Republican opponent Rep. Lee Zeldin, by about 5 points, a far cry from her predecessor, former Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY), whose term she had finished after he resigned. Cuomo won by double digits each election. 

Zeldin made crime a major focus of his campaign and also memorably dinged Hochul for her obsessive equation with crime and guns during their one debate, from October 25.

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