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Gun Free Zone sign in Times Square

A "Gun Free Zone" sign is seen posted in Times Square in New York City on September 1, 2022. (Photo: Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images)

Judge's Ruling Puts New York Gun Control Efforts on Path Back to Supreme Court

"Judges award themselves maximal protection against guns and then tell parents around the country that they have no power to keep guns out of daycare," said one critic.

Julia Conley

New York Attorney General Letitia James vowed to appeal a federal judge's decision that struck down the state's new gun control law Thursday, as advocates said the ruling would make communities less safe.

Judge Glenn T. Suddaby of the state's Northern District ruled that large portions of the law which went into effect last month in New York, making "sensitive" places including New York City's crowded Times Square, parks, and theaters "gun-free zones," were unconstitutional.

Suddaby permitted a stay of his restraining order of three business days, allowing a potential appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit.

"Our communities are plagued by gun violence, and we must be able to enact commonsense laws to protect New Yorkers."

"Our communities are plagued by gun violence, and we must be able to enact commonsense laws to protect New Yorkers," said James. "My office will appeal today's ruling on our state's concealed carry gun laws and continue to fight for the safety of every New Yorker."

If the order does not ultimately go into effect, according to The New York Times, six members of Gun Owners of America have said they're considering an immediate appeal of the case to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The law was put in place in response to the Supreme Court's ruling in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. Bruen in June. The high court overturned the state's previous gun control law, which required people applying for a concealed carry permit to demonstrate "proper cause" and "good moral character" before being approved. That law was deemed a violation of the Second Amendment by the court's right-wing majority.

As Slate journalist Mark Joseph Stern noted, Suddaby's ruling suggests that the government "must allow" concealed carry of weapons in places including medical facilities, libraries, public playgrounds, childcare programs, summer camps, and domestic violence shelters.

Gun control advocacy group Everytown Law noted that both the Supreme Court and Suddaby issued rulings that the majority of Americans oppose. A Marquette Law School poll recently showed that 81% of Americans "oppose laws that would allow people to carry concealed handguns without a permit."

"This wrong-headed and dangerous ruling is an attempt by an activist judge to undermine New York's effort to protect public safety by keeping guns out of the subways, playgrounds, and other sensitive public locations," said Eric Tirschwell, executive director of Everytown Law. "The ruling both misreads Bruen and misunderstands the Second Amendment—and it is certainly not where the American people stand."

Tirschwell also noted that "as of today, New York's law remains in full effect."

"The state can seek emergency relief on appeal and we're confident the appellate court will reverse this dangerous ruling. In the meantime, we're ready to continue our fight to uphold lifesaving gun safety measures and keep New Yorkers, and everyone in America, safe from gun violence."

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